Mumbai gang-rape survivor faints in court

The 23-year-old survivor of the Shakti Mills compound gang-rape fainted before the fast-track sessions court which is conducting the in-camera trial of the four accused on Thursday. The fifth accused, a minor, is being tried by the juvenile court.

Public prosecutor told media that the girl was rushed to hospital for first-aid and medical examination. The rape survivor was working as an intern with a magazine and had gone to the abandoned mills near Mahalaxmi Railway track with her male colleague to click photographs. Five youths posing as railway personnel beat up her male colleague and gang-raped her.

The survivor’s mother sought an in-camera deposition and Principal Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi granted her request. The girl’s mother, in her deposition, stated that August 22 was her daughter’s birthday and the family had plans to go out for dinner. She had called up her daughter before the incident and the next call she got was from the hospital where her daughter sobbingly narrated the incident.

The rape case sparked off waves of anger in Mumbai and across the country. Police later arrested five persons and on September 19 filed a 600-page charge sheet. Four of the accused – Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari and Siraj Rehman – are being tried under IPC sections 376 (D) (gang-rape), 377 (unnatural offence), 201 (destruction of evidence) and 34 (common intention). The fifth accused, whose name has been withheld on account of being a minor, is being tried in a juvenile court.

Soon after the arrest of the five rapists, an 18-year-old telephone operator came out and filed a case against the arrested, charging them with sexually assaulting her on July 31, in the same compound.

Later, police found that the accused were habitual rapists and had been involved in several sexual assaults on women rag-pickers.

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