Mumbai gangrape: 1 more held, hunt on for others

Accused Vijay Jadhav was picked up in the wee hours today from Madanpura area by the Crime branch. "We have arrested a second accused in the gangrape case and he has confessed to his involvement. The probe is heading in the right direction and we hope to arrest all other absconding accused soon," Commissioner of Police Satyapal Singh told reporters.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Dr Satyapal Singh
Mumbai Police Commissioner Dr Satyapal Singh addressing the media contingent on Friday. Pic/Satyajit Desai

Though Singh refused to divulge the identity of the accused, sources in the police department gave his name as Vijay Jadhav. "The man has given information about others on the run and we will apprehend them soon. They have gone a little far off," the officer said in reply to a query.

Asked about the evidence gathered against the accused so far, he said, "We have all the evidence against them and will file a comprehensive charge sheet." About the condition of the victim, Singh, who visited Jaslok Hospital where she is undergoing treatment, said, "Her mother told me it is good and improving."

Regarding the claim of the family of Mohammed Abdul, the teenage accused, the first to be arrested in the case, that he was a juvenile, the police commissioner said, "We will tell you about the profile, age and other related things once all of them are arrested." Three other accused identified as Qasim Bengali, Saleem and Ashfaq are still at large and a manhunt has been launched to nab them.

Meanwhile, Chand Babu Sattat Shaikh alias Mohammed Abdul, was produced before the Bhoiwada holiday court at Dadar amid protests by a large number of BJP and Shiv Sena activists, who shouted slogans condemning the incident.

Public Prosecutor Nandagiri told the court that the 22-year-old victim was still recuperating at the hospital and Abdul's custody was needed to trace the absconding accused. Abdul, who stood near the witness box, showed no remorse and was seen yawning during the proceedings. Accepting the prosecutor's plea, the court remanded him in police custody till August 30.

The victim was gangraped by five men on Thursday evening when she and her male colleague had gone to the deserted Shakti Mills compound in Mahalaxmi on assignment. The incident brought back shocking memories of the December gangrape of a paramedic in Delhi which had sparked a nation-wide outrage.

According to Satyapal Singh, more than 20 teams, including 10 from the elite Crime Branch, have been pressed into service to track down the culprits. 

'Victim's condition improving'
Meanwhile, the hospital where the victim is being treated today said her condition was improving. "The patient's condition is much better today. However, we are monitoring her health from all aspects of care," said a statement issued by Dr Tarang Gianchandani, acting CEO and Director, Medical Services of Jaslok Hospital.

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