Mumbai gang-rape: One accused in police custody till Aug 30

Mumbai, Aug 24 (IANS) A Mumbai magistrate Saturday remanded Chand Babu Sattar Shaikh, alias Mohammed Abdul, an accused in the gang-rape of a woman journalist, to police custody till Aug 30.

The public prosecutor informed the court that the 22-year-old victim was still under treatment, and the custody of the accused was required to trace the remaining co-accused in the heinous crime that occurred in the deserted Shakti Mills complex near Mahalaxmi Railway Station in central Mumbai Thursday.

The court accepted the prosecution plea, and sent Shaikh to police custody till Aug 30.

Shaikh, 19, who was brought inside the court through a back entrance, remained standing through the brief proceedings without showing any emotion, even as a large number of Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party activists raised slogans outside the court condemning the incident.

Earlier Saturday morning, another accused in the case was arrested by the Crime Branch sleuths from Madanpura area of south Mumbai, where he was holed up in a video parlour.

"We have arrested a second accused in the case early today. He has also confessed to his involvement in the crime. The probe is in the right direction and we hope to nab the remaining three absconding accused soon," Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh told reporters Saturday afternoon.

He said the police have gathered lot of evidence against the accused, and would file a comprehensive charge-sheet in the case.

Regarding the claim made by Shaikh's family that he was a juvenile aged 16, Singh said the police would reveal all details after all the five accused are nabbed.

Meanwhile, police sources said half a dozen teams have also gone out of Mumbai to Thane and Raigad districts to trace the absconding rapists.

A woman photo-journalist with an English magazine, accompanied by a male colleague, had gone on an assignment to the deserted mills compound late Thursday, when they were accosted by the five men who assaulted the male colleague and gang-raped the woman in thick undergrowth in the sprawling compound.

While Shaikh was the first to be nabbed within 18 hours of the incident, the second accused was nabbed early Saturday.

Around 20 crack teams of the city police and crime branch have fanned out in different directions to nab the other three involved in the crime and bring them to book.

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