The Manpada police on Thursday added Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), in addition to charges of murder and causing grievous hurt, against the five allegedly involved in the murder of 19-year-old Santosh Vichivara who allegedly protested against them passing comments at a girl he was walking with.
While the police had initially not charged them under section 509, claiming the girl did not mention anything about them passing lewd remarks at her, they later asked permission from the court to add that section.
“While the girl told us she did not hear what comment was passed, based on our investigation, we decided to add the section,” said inspector Indrajeet Karle, Manpada police.
The Manpada police had arrested the five accused on Monday night, four of whom are minors. The Manpada court granted the police custody of Pankaj Pal, 18, while the other four were sent to the Bhiwandi children’s home.
“During interrogation, Pal said one of the minors had taunted Vichivara, who was giving his mobile phone number to the girl. The minor, who was eavesdropping, tauntingly asked Vichivara if he would share his number with the group too.
This led to a fight between Vichivara and the accused following which they stabbed him to death,” Karle said.
Following the arrests, the police have begun to gather evidence against the accused.
Asked if the girl had changed her statement, her mother said, “My daughter maintained throughout that she had earphones on and hence did not know what remark was passed and whom it was directed at.”
The family of Vichivara was initially unhappy the police had not applied section 509 against the accused. However, once the section was applied the Vichivara family said they were satisfied with the police investigation.