All five Mumbai rapists held, Chavan assures speedy justice

Mumbai/Pune/New Delhi, Aug 25 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Sunday said the Mumbai gang-rape case would be tried in a fast track court and noted criminal lawyer Ujjwal Nikam has been requested to appear as public prosecutor even as the fifth suspect was arrested.

The last remaining accused was arrested in Delhi, hours after the fourth accused was held in Mumbai, ending a three-day hunt that followed the horrific sexual assault of the photojournalist.

"The case will be tried in fast-track court to ensure speedy justice to the victim," Chavan told reporters in Pune.

Mohammad Salim Ansari, 27, was nabbed at Bharat Nagar in north Delhi, a Delhi Police official told IANS.

An official said four officials from Mumbai Crime Branch and a team of Delhi Police trapped Ansari and took him into custody as he was going to a relative's house.

He was taken to a hospital for medical check-up and presented before a duty magistrate before being taken to Mumbai.

The Delhi court granted Mumbai police his transit remand for 48 hours, after which he would have to be presented before a court.

According to police, the fourth accused, Mohammed Kasim Hafiz Shaikh alias Kasim Bengali, was arrested at Mumbai Central railway station early Sunday.

Co-accused Siraj Rehman Khan was arrested Saturday night.

A Mumbai court sent both Hafiz Shaikh and Khan to police custody till Aug 30 for questioning.

The 22-year-old photojournalist was raped by five men in an abandoned textile mill complex in central Mumbai Thursday after her male colleague was beaten and bound.

The Mumbai gang-rape mirrored the Dec 16, 2012 sexual assault in a bus in Delhi on a young woman who eventually died in a Singapore hospital.

The latest incident shocked the entire nation, triggering fresh demands for death to rapists.

The Mumbai accused allegedly also shot pictures of the crime on mobile phones and threatened the victims with dire consequences if they complained to police.

The photojournalist was on an assignment for an English magazine and had gone to the desolate area to take pictures of the abandoned factories when she and her male companion were attacked by the rapists.

Disgusted by the sordid details of the gang rape, Hafiz Shaikh's mother told the media at her home in Mumbai that the authorities and courts were free to hand out the most severe punishment to her son.

"He deserves strong punishment," said Chand Bibi in Agripada in south Mumbai.

Two other suspects, Vijay Jadhav and Chand Babu Sattar Shaikh, are also in Mumbai police custody till Aug 30.

While Shaikh was nabbed within 18 hours of the incident that shocked the nation, Jadhav was taken into custody Saturday.

The photojournalist remains warded in hospital after suffering serious injuries.

On Sunday, her family pleaded for her privacy while the Maharashtra government said public prosecutor Nikam, who successfully called for death sentence to Mumbai terror attack accused Ajmal Kasab, would take up the case against the five rapists.

--Indo-Asian News service

aag/vd

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