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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

 India

Second Shakti Mill gangrape: trial begins, witnesses depose
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, October 22, 2013
First Published: 08:52 IST(22/10/2013)
Last Updated: 10:40 IST(22/10/2013)

The trial in the gangrape of the 19-year-old telephone operator at Shakti Mill began in the sessions court on Monday, with the deposition of two witnesses.

The court examined an architect who had prepared a sketch of the Shakti Mill compound and a photographer attached to the police who had taken pictures of the spot of the July 31 incident during the investigation.

Both witnesses described the spot and its location.

The police have booked five accused in the case, including a juvenile.

While the sessions court is trying four of the accused, the juvenile will be tried separately.

Three of the four accused have also been booked for the photojournalist’s gangrape on August 22 at the same compound.

The trials into the August 22 and July 31 cases are being conducted simultaneously, as much of the evidence is common.

The architect had earlier deposed in the August 22 case.

On Monday, he told the court that both women had been gangraped in the same compound and the two crime scenes are at a distance from each other.

The spot where the telephone operator was raped, he said, is closer to the Mahalaxmi station.

The police photographer identified the photographs of spots at the Shakti Mill compound and testified that he had clicked pictures of the places pointed out by the survivor.

The prosecution will examine more witnesses on Tuesday.

According to the prosecution, the 19-year-old was raped by the five accused on August 22, when she and her companion were passing through the deserted Shakti Mill compound to get to the station.

The survivor and her companion fled from the city after the incident and got married in Chhattisgarh. After she returned, she went to the police station and registered a complaint in September, shortly after the August 22 case came to light.

The charge sheet in the case was filed on October 8, describing the brutality that the five accused subjected the survivor and her would-be husband to.

Principal sessions judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi had on Friday framed charges against four accused in the case —Mohammed Ashfaq Sheikh, Mohamed Kasim alias Kasim Bangali, Salim Ansari and Vijay Jadhav.

The accused have been booked for rape, unnatural sex, criminal conspiracy and common intention, among other charges.

With regard to the trial into the August 22 case, the prosecution, on Tuesday, is likely to examine the survivor’s colleague who had accompanied her for an assignment at the Shakti Mill compound.


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