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Bhayander gang rape: 'We only had lunch on Friday. I didn't rape her'

The 42-year-old arrested for the gang rape of a woman in a car outside Bhayander station claims that the woman had met him to ask him for money; and that she threatened him when he refused to pay

Investigations into the gang rape of a 26-year old Bhayander-based woman in a car led to the arrest of a diamond broker yesterday.

The Navghar police in Bhayander have arrested a 42-year-old diamond share broker, Pankaj Bothra, who says he merely had lunch with the survivor, but didn’t rape her. Pic/Hanif Patel
The Navghar police in Bhayander have arrested a 42-year-old diamond share broker, Pankaj Bothra, who says he merely had lunch with the survivor, but didn’t rape her. Pic/Hanif Patel

The Bhayander police, however, are wondering how the survivor was raped inside a car that was stationed just outside Bhayander station, which is almost always crowded. Meanwhile, the accused nabbed for the crime says that he was having lunch with the complainant at the time in which she claims to have been raped.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (Thane Rural) Chandrakant Joshi said, “As per the woman’s statement, the incident took place outside Bhayander railway station, which is usually crowded. It is impossible that such an incident did not attract anyone’s attention. In the initial stages, we registered a complaint and arrested the accused.”

The Navghar police in Bhayander have arrested the 42-year-old diamond share broker, Pankaj Bothra, from his home. Learning that the woman was looking for a job, Bothra promised to get her one in an event management company, saying it would pay her R25,000 every month. He then told her to come to Bhayander on Friday afternoon to join the firm.

As soon as she reached, Bothra asked her to step into the car in which he was seated with the other accused. As soon as she was seated, they pointed a gun at her and started taking turns to rape her, in an ordeal that lasted well over an hour (Duo lures woman with job offer, rapes her inside car’, June 2).

After the incident, the accused pushed her out of the car, following which the woman went home. She later headed to D N Nagar police station to register a complaint. The case was later transferred to Bhayander police station.

In her statement, the survivor revealed that Bothra, a resident of Jesal Park in Bhayander (East) had met her in an exhibition at Andheri, after which the two became friends. Bothra identified himself as Deepak, when he met the woman.

‘Met her for lunch’
Denying the allegations levelled against him, Bothra, in his statement to the police, said, “The lady met me at Bhayander station at 2 pm on Friday, and asked me to give her R10,000 for her mother’s medical treatment, but I refused. I have given her many assignments at an event management company, as I have contacts.”

He further added, “On Friday afternoon, we even ate rolls and had cold drinks near the station. After this, I dropped her to the station, at which point she threatened that she would punish me, before leaving for home on a train. I did not rape her.”

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