Three days after the brutal gangrape of a photojournalist, Mumbai Police have arrested all five accused in the case. The last of the five – Salim Ansari – was arrested from the Delhi-Haryana border yesterday.
Mumbai Police arrested 27-year-old Ansari from Bharat Nagar in northwest Delhi, where he had planned on staying at a relative’s house. Ansari was arrested at around 11 am after receiving information that he had been spotted in the area and was about to flee the country to Nepal.
An Indian Express report states that Ansari’s relatives were unaware of the crime he had committed, and sheltered him for three days.
“We had rounded up all his family member’s and they led us to the accused,” a Crime Branch official said.
A day after the crime, Ansari had reportedly boarded a long-distance train from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Kurla and got off at Delhi. According to a Times of India report, the police were able to nab him after they started tracking his mobile phone.
Ansari, according to a Times of India report, resides at a rented flat in Virar (E). His family comprises his parents, two sisters and two brothers. He was earlier arrested in two cases – housebreaking and theft of railway property.
The main accused in the case, Mohammed Kasim Hafiz Shaikh alias Kasim Bangali, who is a resident of Agripada in central Mumbai, was arrested at 4.15 am from the terrace of Nair hospital early Sunday morning. after receiving a call from a crime branch constable.
“He changed his shirt, took Rs 50 from me and disappeared,” a Times of India article quotes his mother as saying.
Early on Sunday morning, the police received a call from the hospital that someone resembling the sketches was found sleeping at the Nair hospital. Bangali was swiftly arrested.
But for Bangali, this is not the first crime he is being arrested for. A report in the Hindustan Times states 18-year old Bangali has admitted to having raped at least four other women at the same spot this year.
“During interrogation, Bangali told us that they (Bangali and his gang) had raped four rag-pickers at the same spot where the 22-year old was gangraped,” a Mumbai crime branch officer told the daily.
The report further states that the accused gained confidence as none of their earlier crimes were reported to the police.
The third accused, Vijay Jadhav, was arrested from a friend’s video parlour in the Madanpura area of south Mumbai early on Saturday morning. Mumbai Mirror reports that While Jadhav was watching the mid-night show, crime branch officials stormed into the video parlour. Jadhav immediately pulled a blanket over himself and pretended to sleep, but the police spotted him and nabbed him.
The first to be arrested was Chand Shaikh, whose grandmother claims he is a juvenile. The police, however, maintain he is 19-years-old.
Sharna Bai, his grandmother, showed media his birth-certificate, which has reportedly been tampered with.
On being asked about the rewriting, Bai said: “I can’t read or write, so I don’t know what difference it makes. I know only one thing: my grandson is not 18.”
Shaikh, who resides at a Dhobi Ghat slum in Saat Raasta, was arrested by Mumbai Police early Friday morning.
Aged 25, Khan was arrested from a hideout in Govandi. According to a Times of India report, Khan used to live on the pavement near Dhobi Ghat, and used to do odd jobs for a living. The police, on interrogating Chand Shaikh and Vijay Jadhav, managed to get leads on Khan and arrested him.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced the case would be tried in a fast track court and said the government will do all it can to ensure the five accused get the severest punishment. On Sunday, the state government announced lawyer Ujjwal Nikam would be appointed as the special public prosecutor in the case.
The Mumbai Police have also intensified the hunt to trace the mobile phone that was used to shoot pictures of the brutal attack.