'Gang-raped by same men at Shakti Mills'

'Gang-raped by same men at Shakti Mills'

Nearly a fortnight after the gang rape of a 23-year-old photojournalist came to light here, three of the five men arrested were found to be allegedly involved in another gang rape of a teenager at the defunct Shakti Mills compound, police said today.

The girl lodged a complaint at the Bhandup police station in the city's eastern suburbs yesterday, stating that she was gang raped on July 31 by five men, three of whom are already arrested in connection with the photojournalist's gang rape case, they said.

One of the suspect, who is a minor, has already been arrested in this connection, the police said.

"She stated that she was sexually assaulted by a group of five. Three of them have been identified as Salim Ansari, Vijay Jadhav, Mohammed Kasim, Hafiz Shaikh alias 'Kasim Bangali', who are already in the police crime branch custody in connection with August 22 photojournalist gang rape case. We have names of the two other accused and one of them has been arrested. We do not want to reveal their names at this stage," a police officer said.

According to the police, the victim had gone to the Mahalaxmi area for some work along with a friend when the culprits, adopted the same modus operandi used in the August 22 gang rape case, by tricking the two and luring them to the dilapidated textile mill premises.

"The two were walking along the Mahalaxmi railway tracks, when the accused intercepted them and took them to the mill," he added.

Her friend was tied up by the accused before they raped the woman, exactly as they did while committing the same offence on the photojournalist, police said.

After the incident, the shocked victim did not go to her house, but went to Chhattisgarh instead with her friend by train and took shelter at her friend's house.

According to the police, after reading news of the photojournalist gang rape case, the 19-year-old victim gathered courage and decided to come back to Mumbai, where her mother had already lodged a missing person's complaint after she failed to return home on July 31.

When she returned home yesterday, she was summoned to the police station to record her statement, where she narrated the incident to the cops, police said. The case was later transferred to the N M Joshi Marg police station.

On August 22, the 23-year-old photojournalist had been gang raped by five accused at the desolate mill, when she was on an official assignment with a male colleague.

All the five accused, namely Salim Ansari, Vijay Jadhav, Mohammed Kasim, Hafiz Shaikh alias Kasim Bengali and Siraj Rehman Khan and a "minor" - were arrested in the case and are currently in police custody.

During interrogation, the gang rape accused had told the police that they had victimised several women during the last six months including the young photojournalist, a rag picker and a commercial sex worker.

Interrogation of those accused in the July 31 gang rape case is also on, they said.

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