More than 48 hours have gone by since the 22-year-old photojournalist was gangraped in a deserted textile mill in Mumbai and her male colleague brutally beaten up, but the main accused in the case, 18-year-old Kasam Shahbuddin Bangali is still absconding.
A combination image shows sketches of five suspects, released by the Mumbai Police, allegedly involved in the gang-rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai. AFP
Bangali's mother Chandbibi, who had been detained by the police, told the media on Saturday that her son had been out all day on Thursday, but had returned home in the evening.
He had seemed to be his usual self and was watching television when around 11pm he received a call on his mobile. Soon after, he left the house.
"He said he would return soon, but when he didn't, I tried calling him. But his mobile was switched off," she said.
The police have been scanning mobile details for every possible clue and based on tip offs about Bangali's location have gone so far as Mumbra, south Mumbai, Chembur and Sewri, but he has managed to give them the slip every time.
Chandbibi admitted that her son was a friend of Chand Abdul Sattar Shaikh who had been arrested in connection with the photojournalist's rape on Friday.
She insisted that her son had no bad habits and spent much of his time on the railway tracks near Mahalaxmi station doing odd jobs.
"Bangali, Shaikh and three others would spend time on the railway tracks. We learnt about the incident after police picked up his uncle Kallan for questioning," she added.
Vijay Jadhav, the second person to be arrested, was found by police in a movie video parlour in the Madanpura area that was his regular haunt.
Though Jadhav said none of them were using mobile phones, as they knew the police would be able to track them down, public prosecutor Anil Nandgiri argued to the contrary.
"The accused were in touch with each other and we are yet to arrest the other accused. The police now need to study the call data records to establish the links of the incident."
Accused did not show remorse
Mumbai: Neither of the two arrested accused - Chand Abdul Sattar Shaikh and Vijay Jadhav - showed any signs of remorse in the court on Saturday. Shaikh was seen yawning when the public prosecutor sought his custody. Jadhav who was arrested on Saturday, also appeared disinterested.