Of the five accused in the gangrape of a 19-year-old at Shakti Mill compound, three had already been arrested in connection with the gangrape of a 22-year-old photojournalist at the same spot on August 22.
According to the police, the other two accused in this case – a 17-year-old and a man identified as Ashfaq, 28 - are all part of the same gang that raped the photojournalist. While the minor has been arrested, Ashfaq is absconding.
Like the others, both the accused are also history-sheeters and have cases of theft registered against them with the railway police. Both of them are school dropouts, and Ashfaq has two wives as well as children.
All seven accused got acquainted with each other at Shakti Mill compound and both the minor and Ashfaq lived in the same neighbourhood till recently, even after their families had shifted to the suburbs.
The duo would hang out with the five accused arrested in photojournalist gangrape case and would drink together, the police said.
“Like the other five accused arrested in the August 22 gangrape, these two continued to stay around Dhobi Ghat area in Mahalaxmi and met frequently at Shakti Mill compound. They operated together and stole scrap from the railway yard to fund their bad habits,” said Vinayak Deshmukh, deputy commissioner of police (zone 3).
The police are now investigating to see whether these two accused were involved in any incidents of sexual assaults in the past to which the five arrested have confessed.