Three days after a young photojournalist was gang-raped in a mill here, all the five accused in the case have been arrested even as Mumbai Police was grappling to trace the mobile phone used to shoot pictures of the crime that triggered outrage across the country.
Mohammed Kasim Hafiz Shaikh alias Kasim Bengali, a resident of Agripada in central Mumbai, was arrested at 4.15am from Mumbai Central while his accomplice Siraj Rehman Khan (24) was arrested last night. Both were remanded in police custody till August 30.
Another accused, Salim Ansari was arrested from Delhi by the crime branch sleuths on Sunday. He is being brought to Mumbai and is expected to be produced before the court tomorrow for remand.
27-year-old Ansari was arrested from Bharat Nagar in northwest Delhi when he was on his way to a relative's house in the capital.
"A team of Mumbai Crime Branch today reached Bharat Nagar police station and inquired about a locality about which they had inputs that Ansari will be visiting. He was then nabbed when he was on his way to a relative's house here," said a senior Delhi Police official.
He was then taken to Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital in Delhi for medical examination. He would be taken to Mumbai later in the day. Two others involved in the case were arrested earlier. Vijay Jadhav and Chand Babu Sattar Shaikh were produced before the court on Saturday which remanded them in police custody till August 30.
The 23-year-old victim, working as an intern with an English magazine, was gang-raped in the premises of the defunct Shakti Mills compound where she had gone along with a male colleague on an official assignment to shoot pictures on August 22.
The accused had tied up her colleague at a little distance away from the scene of the crime and gang-raped the girl after threatening her with a broken piece of a beer bottle which they placed near her neck. They shot pictures of the shameful act and warned the victim not to disclose it to anyone or else the pictures would be circulated.
Police told the court on Sunday that Kasim Bengali was not cooperating with investigations. He was not disclosing where he and his friends had kept a mobile phone which was used to shoot pictures of the victim, who was subjected to the brutal crime.
In the remand application, police said Kasim had admitted to his alleged role in the crime.
Police also told the court that they had recovered a broken piece of a beer bottle which the accused had used to threaten the victim. The article was picked up by them from the scene of the crime.
The accused have been booked under various sections of IPC such as 376(D) (rape), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506(2) (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention).
Kasim Bengali and Siraj Khan were produced before a magistrate on Sunday who asked them whether they had any complaints against police and whether they had hired any lawyers to defend them. Both replied in the negative.
The two were brought to the court with their faces covered with a black cloth. Police informed the magistrate that the identification parade had not been held so far and they needed the custody of the accused to interrogate them and find out their exact role in the crime.