The last roll of the dice, literally, turned out to be the undoing of Mohamed Kasim Hafiz Sheikh, alias Bangali, one of the five accused of raping the 22-year-old photojournalist, and also believed to be their gang leader.
Bangali, who was on the run, was arrested in the early hours of Sunday from the sixth floor of Nair hospital, where he decided to spend the night after he gambled and ran out of cash.
Soon after the incident, Bangali, who lives with his mother at Agripada, fled to Virar with Rs900, said an officer who helped tracked down the accused. In the train, he threw away three SIM cards as he knew that the police could trace him using his cell phone numbers.
"He spent some time in Virar and realised that he would run out of cash. There is a gambling den at Shuklaji Street in Grant Road where he used to gamble, so he decided to go there to make money that would help him flee the city," the officer said.
However, Bangali lost all his money. "He not only lost Rs 900, but also pawned his mobile phone for a game and lost it. He then decided to sleep at some place nearby and flee the next day," the officer said.
Bangali decided to hide amongst the relatives of patients admitted to Nair hospital. "The relatives sleep in the lobby outside the wards. Bangali went to the crowded sixth floor and slept amidst them."
Following a tip-off about Bangali's visit to the gambling den, the police started combing the area. After searching theatres, railway yards and other spots, the police checked at Nair hospital and found him sleeping there.
As officials of unit 3 of crime branch had arrested Bangali earlier too, they identified him. An officer said Bangali has at least four cases of robbery registered against him.
Bangali has been an offender since he was a minor and has spent time at Dongri children's home after one conviction, said another officer. "He is around 22 years old, but his heavy build makes him look older," the officer added.