Third arrest in Mumbai gang-rape; two other accused sent to police custody

Mumbai, Aug 24 (IANS) A third accused in the gangrape of a woman photo-journalist was arrested here Saturday even as a court sent two other accused, including one arrested earlier in the day, to police custody till Aug 30.

Another of the three absconding accused was arrested Saturday evening, a senior police officer said. However, the name of the arrested man was not disclosed.

Earlier, accused Chand Babu Sattar Shaikh alias Mohammed Abdul was presented before the Bhoiwada magistrate in south Mumbai around noon and his accomplice Vijay Jadhav was brought to the same court a few hours later.

Seeking police custody of the two suspects, public prosecutor said that the 22-year old victim was still undergoing treatment in a hospital and the questioning of the two accused was required for tracing the other culprits.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh earlier announced that the second accused (Jadhav) had also been nabbed by a crime branch team from a video parlour in Madanpura in south Mumbai, where he was holed up since the incident.

"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," Singh told reporters in the afternoon.

He added that police had gathered lot of evidence against the accused and would file a comprehensive charge sheet in the case.

A delegation of around 15 women media persons called on Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan to demand adequate safety for working women in the city.

The governor assured that he would take up the matter with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Railway Minister Malikarjun Kharge to ensure that women were safe while commuting in the suburban trains, Mumbai's lifeline.

In the meeting with Sankaranarayan, the delegation members recounted instances of harassment suffered by the women while travelling on the streets or in the suburban trains.

"We have strong laws to protect the life and liberty of the citizens. What we need is effective implementation of these laws," the governor observed.

Police sources said that half a dozen teams had gone out of Mumbai to Thane and Raigad district to trace the absconding three accused in the gangrape case.

A woman photo-journalist with an English magazine and her colleague had gone on an assignment to the Shakti Mills Compound, Mahalaxmi in central Mumbai late Thursday when they were accosted by the five men.

They tied and assaulted the male colleague and gang-raped the woman in thick undergrowth in the sprawling mill compound.

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

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