Two hours after brutally raping a young woman, accused Chand Abdul Sattar calmly polished off a plate of pav-bhaji at home. His grandmother, who shared the meal, never suspected anything was amiss.
Photojournalists hold placards as they protest against the gangrape of a 22-year-old woman photojournalist in Mumbai. (AP Photo)
Sitting outside her shanty at Jai Bhavani Nagar in Mahalaxmi, not far from the mill where her grandson and four others had sexually assaulted the young woman on Thursday, Sarnabai said her grandson had simply fallen into bad company.
"I always told Chand to avoid Kaseem. Thanks to him, Chand has met this fate," she said.
After her warnings, Kaseem stopped coming to their home, but he used to keep in touch with Chand on phone and the two met outside.
On Thursday too, Chand left the house around 5.30 pm after getting a call from Kaseem.
"He came back around 10 pm and had brought pav bhaji. We ate and went to sleep," Sarnabai said.
The neighbours knew the two youths and the others with them were often breaking the law. "A 10-year-old boy used to accompany them. They used to make the child bring them alcohol and other addictive things. Chand used to do odd jobs in the area," said a local.
The elderly Sarnabai, who ekes out a living by selling vegetables at a nearby market, was visibly disturbed.
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"Chand's parents died when they were very young. I raised all the children. He has two elder brothers and two sisters, who are married. And he studied till Class 9," she said.
But more than Chand, the future now worries Sarnabai. The action of her grandson has put her precarious livelihood at stake.
"Whatever has happened, he will have to pay for it. Now, I wonder if the people would let me sell vegetables at the market," she said.VIDEO: Mumbai photojournalist gang-raped, one held