The preliminary DNA reports of the five accused in the gang rape of a 22-year-old photojournalist at Shakti Mills in Mahalaxmi match the swabs from the survivor, Mumbai Crime Branch investigating the case said, strengthening the police’s case to secure conviction for the accused.
The police, who had earlier claimed that all the accused were adults, on Friday produced the first arrested accused in a juvenile court, after his family managed to prove that he was a minor.
“The DNA reports of the five accused that we have got from the Kalina Forensic Sciecne Laboratory have matched the samples found in the woman’s body,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy. “It is a big thing for us to get convictions for all the accused,” said Roy.
The police have taken down a supplementary statement of the survivor, and on the basis, added sections 377, 201 and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) under the Indian Penal Code.
The first arrested accused on Friday submitted his birth certificate obtained from Nair Hospital which showed his birth date to be February 26, 1997, and that makes him under 18 years of age.
“We have recorded his birth date and will treat him as a minor. We took him to the juvenile court in Dongri and later handed him over to the remand home, since police custody of a minor is not allowed. His case will be tried in the juvenile court now,” said Roy.
Three of the accused -- Kasim Shaikh alias Bangali, Vijay Jadhav and Siraj Rehman Khan -- were produced in the Killa court where magistrate Uday Padwad granted police their custody till September 5.
Bangalis’ plea that he was also a minor was rejected by the court. Magistrate Padwad noted that when the accused was tried before a court in Girgaum in another case, he had been treated as an adult. Also, his physical appearance did not suggest he was a minor, the court said.
The fifth accused, Salim Ansari, who was nabbed from Delhi, is already in police custody till September 5.
Some women political activists threw eggs at the accused when they were being led out of the Killa court. The women were detained by the Azad Maidan police and released a while later.