Further police remand for three gang rape accused

Mumbai, Aug 30 (IANS) A Mumbai magistrate Friday extended the police custody, till Sep 5, of three accused in the gang rape of a woman photo-journalist. The three then were targeted by women activists who hurled eggs and tomatoes at them when they were being taken back to the lock-up.

The three are Siraj Khan, Vijay Jadhav and Kasim Bengali.

Nationalist Congress Party women activists, who were demonstrating near the court, suddenly started raising slogans demanding death penalty for the rapists and pelted the accused with eggs and tomatoes as they were escorted to a waiting police vehicle outside the Eslpanade Court in south Mumbai.

Earlier during the court hearing, the public prosecutor argued that the investigators have yet to recover some clothes of the accused and other evidence and sought further custody which was granted.

Police have also added two more charges - destroying evidence and criminal conspiracy of the Indian Penal Code - against all the five accused.

With the recovery of a mobile phone used by one of the accused to click the victim's photographs, police are likely to slap more charges pertaining to criminal conspiracy, unnatural sex, and sections under the Information Technology (IT) Act.

The 22-year old photo-journalist with an English magazine was gang-raped while her male colleague was assaulted in the deserted confines of the sprawling Shakti Mills Compound in Mahalaxmi late evening Aug 22.

Soon afterwards, Mumbai police arrested all the five accused in the crime, including Salim Ansari who was nabbed from New Delhi. The fifth accused is Mohammed Abdul Sattar alias Chand Babu, who was caught from Mumbai.

The state government has already announced that the case will be heard by a fast track court and named renowned criminal lawyer Ujjwal Nikam as the special public prosecutor.


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