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The task before the police

According to the police, Vikas has allegedly confessed to all attacks perpetrated by the "Hammer Man", report Debasish Panigrahi and Manish Pachouly.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2006 00:16 IST

Unlike the previous occasion, this time the police are sure they have got their man.

Way back in August when Hammerman has struck, the DN Nagar police had detained a sixteen year old Rajan alias Lakdulaji Gupta thinking he was the Hammerman. He had been detained for allegedly clobbering a girl with a hammer in Manish Nagar, Andheri, a 21-year-old management student.

At that time, Police Inspector Dilip Suryavanshi, the boy's looks match with that of the description provided by the victim, however, he has been detained only on suspicion.

This time round, the Goregaon police has booked Vikas under Section 397 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The bare act is meant for robbery or attempt to dacoity with an intention to cause death or grievous hurt. It entails a minimum seven years of imprisonment (first count).

Vikas was produced in a metropolitan magistrate's court (holiday) on Saturday which remanded him to police custody till November 18. Investigating officer inspector Sashikant Surve of Goregaon police station told HT that the next task of the police would be to match Vikas's confessional statement with the evidences, which are required for corroboration about his complicity in the other attacks he was involved in the past.

When asked about the previous case on Saturday, PI Suryavanshi said Rajan had been sent to the Dongri remand home but was let off after a week since there was no evidence against him.

According to the Goregaon police, Vikas has allegedly confessed to all attacks perpetrated by the "Hammer Man" since August 21-establishing the fact that he was the dreaded attacker.

To establish that the police would conduct an identification parade of him before the three victims of the previous attacks. The hammer seized from him during the attack at Goregaon would also be sent for forensic science examination to find whether it still bore the DNA samples of all the victims.

In fact, streaks of blood can still be seen on the hammer head. Moreover, the fingerprints of Vikas has been sent to police stations all over Mumbai and the finger prints bureau for matching with a view to find out whether he was involved in any offence in the past.

Though some sources claimed that Vikas was involved in a couple of robberies in Oshiwara-D N Nagr area, there was no confirmation from the Goregaon police.

Controversy on age proof

A controversy of sorts has started over the exact age of Vikas. While Vikas's mother Kantabai produced a school leaving certificate (Mahatma Gandhi School, a copy of which is with HT) which stated his date of birth was January 14, 1990-which would mean he is 16 years 11 months old by November 14, the police claims he is 19 year's old. Going by the SLC, Vikas has to be treated as a minor or a delinquent juvenile.

When informed about it, Inspector Surve said, "We are verifying his exact age. It will take some time," he added.

Email Debasish Panigrahi: debasish.panigrahi@hindustantimes.com