Two days after the barbaric gang-rape on 22-year-old photojournalist at Mahalaxmi's Shakti Mill compound, in the heart of Mumbai, locals said that the spot was frequented by the five accused.
A general view of the abandoned textile mill where a photo journalist was raped by five men, in Mumbai. (AFP Photo)
The area spanning between the abandoned mill compound and Lower Parel station is dotted with several workshops and railway yard making it unsafe even in broad daylight.
The presence of policemen in the approach lane on Saturday came in as a surprise for many as they were never seen there before.
"The area was always a notorious spot with presence of gamblers and druggies however, after the fence wall adjoining the railway track gave away, the place got infested with more such people. Since then the approach to the compound became easy," said Shivkumar Gupta, the lone resident in the lane.
"The policemen are not regular visitors in here, however, in case they would come patrolling any day, they would only check on whatever was in sight while riding the bike in the lane," added Gupta.
Another person said that the lane leading to the mill compound has been problematic with presence of several roadside rookies including the group of boys, who have been accused of gangraping the photojournalist.
"After I saw the sketches in the newspapers, I recollected that I had seen the boys before. There is a garage located in the lane near which these people would hang out and keep staring at the women. The stretch from the main road to the Turf Estate building is specifically problematic. Few months ago, one of my colleagues was lucky to have escaped after he was stopped by a group of boys who tried to rob him," said Vishnu Gade, employed with a web portal, located in the same lane.
The lane which leads to the compound has several structure which house commercial premises, which also includes a Western Railway printing press. The place becomes deserted by early evening and hence locals asked for better police presence in the area.