Reeling from the court verdict, relatives of the convicts showed support for them. Speaking to mid-day, Mohan Jadhav, father of convicted rapist Vijay Jadhav, blamed his son’s crimes to the company of his friends.
“He has been instigated by his friends to commit this crime. Last night, there were cops at my doorstep. They took away my handicapped elder son with them to intimidate me and make sure we did not file an appeal in the higher court,” Mohan said.
He added, “We have suffered a lot for no fault of ours. The landlord threw us out of the house without allowing us to collect all our documents. This is why I could not produce the age verification proof for my son.”
Chandbibi, mother of convict Qasim Bangali, said, “No matter what the court’s verdict, I will stand by my son’s side. I also pray to God that such a thing does not happen to any other woman, as I can imagine what she had to go through after the incident.”
While the police have named Qasim as the main accused in both the gang rape cases, Chandbibi insisted, “My son committed the crime due to the bad company of his friends.” Prakash Salsingekar, defence advocate of convicts Vijay Jadhav and Ashfaq Shaikh, said, “Ashfaq is the sole breadwinner for his family.
Jadhav is too young and has his entire life ahead of him. When the court declares the quantum of punishment, we will appeal for reduced imprisonment for both of them.” Moin Khan, advocate for another accused Salim Ansari, said, “We are going to challenge the verdict in the higher courts.”
A few good men
Policemen who contributed to the investigations and chargesheet include senior inspector Arvind Sawant of the Crime Branch III, investigation officer for the August 22 case Manohar Dhanawade, investigation officer in the July 31 case Sanjay Nikumbe, Police Inspector Deepak Chavan, API Padmakar Deore, Vinod Tawde, constables Kolhe, Kolambkar, Adavkar, Anbule, Shinde and Vadate.
The team that investigated the two cases for seven months
The team worked relentlessly to collect forensic and technical evidence against all the seven accused, under the guidance of then Joint Commissioner of Police Himanshu Roy.
“Around 42 police constables and 12 officers, under the leadership of Inspector Manohar Dhanawade from Crime Branch III, worked on the chargesheet, which has around 86 witnesses, 18 panchnama reports, eight mobile analysis reports and 22 DNA reports in the case of the photojournalist’s rape,” said Sawant, adding, “In the second case we have recorded 56 witness statements and also found her dupatta.”
The chargesheets included documents such as identification reports, DNA reports, mobile location details, mud samples, articles of footwear and clothing, call detail records, statements of doctors, friends, relevant hospital officials, key witnesses and of acquaintances of the two survivors.