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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Mumbai photojournalist gang-rape: survivor was made to clear spot of evidence

Rahul Mahajani, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 26, 2013
First Published: 02:45 IST(26/8/2013) | Last Updated: 10:17 IST(26/8/2013)

After raping the 22-year-old photojournalist at an isolated spot inside Shakti Mills Compound, the five accused, all of whom have now been arrested, asked the survivor to get dressed, pick up her belongings and check that she and her colleague had not left anything behind that could later be used as evidence.

"The five accused made her clean up the entire scene of crime," states the remand application.

One of the accused then clicked a photograph of the survivor and threatened to kill her if she disclosed the incident to anyone. A little later, another accused clicked her photo and repeated the same threat. Both photos were taken after the survivor had put on her clothes. No clips or photos were taken during the rape, the remand application states.

The two mobile phones, from which the photos were seized, will be used as key evidence against the accused in court, crime branch officials said.

After the rape, the survivor and her colleague, who had been tied up some distance away and was released, were asked to inspect their bags and check that all their belongings were in place. When they confirmed that nothing was missing, the accused returned the survivor's mobile phone, which they had switched off when she got a call from her mother.

The photojournalist and her colleague were then taken to the railway tracks and directed towards Mahalaxmi station, while the five accused fled in the direction of Lower Parel, states the remand application.

It was only after the accused ran away that the survivor and her colleague spoke and the colleague realised what had happened. When the colleague called his senior at office and told him about the incident, they were instructed to take a taxi and go to Jaslok hospital, officials said.

"After this, she called her mother, told her about the incident and asked her to come to the hospital," an official said, requesting anonymity.

The gang leader, Mohamed Kasim Hafiz Sheikh, alias Bangali, has told crime branch officials that the five of them have raped four women at Shakti Mills Compound in the past one year.


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