The Mumbai Sessions Court yesterday convicted two friends for gang-raping a 20-year-old woman at Nagpada in 2013. Both the accused Bhiwandi resident Mobin Khan (39) and Ali Mohammad Khan (37) from Nagpada were sentenced for life by Special Women’s Court Judge A S Shende.
Mobin and Ali were booked under Sections 376 (D) (gang rape) and 506 (Criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. In her testimony before the judge, the survivor, who is now 22, said she hails from Bihar and had fallen in love with a man from her village.
She said after her family got wind of her plan to marry him, they started looking out for a groom for her and forced her to marry the man of their choice in June 2013. However, she did not go to her husband’s residence immediately since a few rituals were pending.
The survivor told the judge that she utilised the opportunity to contact her boyfriend in Mumbai, who suggested she join him there. Following her boyfriend’s suggestion, the woman came to Mumbai on November 20, 2013. Her boyfriend, who is Mobin’s friend, put her up at his residence.
However, the woman’s family managed to trace her whereabouts and took her back to Bihar. But they could not hold on to her for too long, as she managed to escape and returned to Mumbai in the first week of December 2013. Upon contacting her boyfriend, asking him to pick her up, he told her that he would be sending Mobin because he was occupied with work.
The survivor claimed that Mobin, after receiving her at Kalyan, took her to a hotel in Nagpada and raped her in the night. The next morning, hotel manager Ali, Mobin’s friend, came looking for him. He handed over his cellphone to the survivor when she asked for it. But he snatched it before she could tell her boyfriend about her whereabouts.
He then forced himself on her. After Ali left the room, the woman locked the door from inside. However, Ali returned after a while. Realising that the door was locked, Ali threatened to kill her if she did not let him in. Fearing for her life, the woman opened the door. Enraged by what she had done, Ali raped her the second time and then thrashed her.
The survivor said she somehow managed to flee the hotel after Ali left the room. It was a patrolling officer who saw her crying on the streets of Nagpada and took her to the police station, where she lodged a complaint. Both the accused, Mobin and Ali, were arrested from Nagpada on the same day after the survivor lodged an FIR against them on December 7, 2013.
Public Prosecutor Kalpana Hire examined nine witnesses, including the survivor’s boyfriend. “The conviction was based upon the sole testimony of the prosecutrix,” said an advocate who was part of the proceedings.