The investigation into an alleged kidnapping and gang rape of a Malvani-based woman has pitted the crime branch and local police against each other.
On October 26, crime branch officials claimed Alpa Raj (24, name changed) was assaulted and gang raped by associates of Pune-based sex racketeer Jaishri Deshpande.
However, Raj, in a statement to Malvani police on Saturday, denied she was gang raped, while accepting she was physically assaulted. “In her statement, she has not once mentioned rape or gang rape,” said Jaywant Hargude, senior police inspector at Malvani police station. Firoz Patel, senior inspector, crime branch Unit XI, said: “We made that announcement based on a preliminary interrogation of the accused. The victim may be concealing the facts.”
The Malvani police transferred the case to Vishrantwadi police station in Pune. Pune Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone IV) Jalinder Supekar said: “We have not recorded the victim’s statement yet, so it is premature to say if she was gang raped.”
Deshpande has several cases registered against her across Pune, including one for murder. Trouble began when Reema Gawli – who worked as a prostitute for Deshpande, and whose husband Pradeep Gawli is an associate of Deshpande — decided to work independently.
To solicit clients, she approached Raj, another prostitute working for Deshpade. Raj introduced Reema to Malvani-based pimp Deepankar Mandal. Pradeep allegedly had Mandal kidnapped and brought to Pune, where he and Raj were allegedly assaulted and later let off.