Shakti Mills gang rapes: 5 convicted

Friday, 21 March 2014 - 8:30am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The sessions court on Thursday convicted five men of gang-raping two women separately in the Shakti Mills compound in Mahalaxmi last year.

Three of the five were accused in both cases. On July 31, 2013, they raped a telephone operator from Bhandup and on August 22, 2013, they raped a photo-journalist. The court will pronounce the judgment on Friday.

Principal judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi delivered two separate verdicts in a packed courtroom. Home minister RR Patil was in the audience.

On Wednesday, the defence wanted to cross-examine the chemical analyser whose report nailed the accused. The prosecution opposed it, saying it was a ploy to delay the trial. "The defence had ample time to examine the chemical analyser, but it did not," special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said.

While rejecting the defence plea, the court termed their application "very vague".

In the Bhandup telephone operator's gang rape, Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Shaikh alias Bangali, Salim Ansari and Ashfaq Shaikh were held guilty of conspiring with each other, stripping the victim, and then taking turns to rape her. All the four were convicted of sodomising the victim, wrongfully confining her, hurting and intimidating her.

Apart from Jadhav, Bangali and Ansari, Siraj Khan was the other person to be convicted in the photo-journalist's rape. They too were convicted of the same offences. Also, they were convicted of criminally conspiring and forcing the victim to watch a pornographic clip on one the accused's mobile phone. She was later forced to enact what she had seen.

The court said all the five knew what they were doing and that it would attract severe punishment. So they destroyed all evidence. The court held them guilty of destroying evidence. In the photo-journalist's rape, the court upheld the charges under the IT Act against the four.

Apart from these five, the police arrested two others in connection with both the rapes. Since they were minor they were sent to the Dongri remand home. Their trial will be heard before the juvenile justice board.


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