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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Pre-planned attack? Survivor had visited mill earlier: police

Charul Shah and Mohamed Thaver, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 25, 2013
First Published: 01:31 IST(25/8/2013) | Last Updated: 02:47 IST(25/8/2013)

The five youth accused of gangraping the 22-year-old photojournalist at Shakti Mill compound in Mahalaxmi on Thursday evening had hatched the plan a few days prior to the incident, police believe.

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The survivor had gone to the compound twice in the recent past for her assignment, when one of the accused had spotted her and had informed the others about it, police said.

An officer privy to the investigation said that even on the earlier two occasions, when the survivor had visited the spot with her colleague to shoot photographs, one of five accused had spotted her.

“After she returned the second time, we suspect the accused told the others about the survivor and they had prepared a plan to gangrape her in case she came the next time,” said the officer. 

“Hence, when she went there again on Thursday, the accused already had a plan in place. They posed as railway officials and everyone seemed to know what their roles were in misguiding the survivor,” the officer said.

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The savior was weaned away from her colleague after the accused told them they need to interrogate the latter as he was a suspect in a murder which took place there. The photojounalists were also told they need permissions to shoot there.

The accused were regulars at the mill compound and went there every day. And since hardly anyone else went there, it is quite likely they may have spotted the survivor easily when she visited the compound earlier as well, an officer said. The police will be interrogating the accused to get some more clarity about the time when the accused had planned the rape.

“We will be questioning the arrested accused about it, as it will form a part of the sequence of events that led to the crime,” an officer said.

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