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Mumbai gangrape: Minor accused in rape claims he didn't do it

Security at Dongri remand home was tightened in wake of Crime Branch producing the accused before Juvenile Justice Board; he was remanded in judicial custody for 15 days.

On Friday afternoon, security in and around the children’s remand home in Dongri was beefed up, in anticipation of a new arrival that has hogged angry attention since last week.


Under vigilance: Cops produce the minor before the Juvenile Justice Board yesterday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

The Crime Branch was about to produce one of the accused in the Shakti Mills gang rape case before the Juvenile Justice Board, located on the premises of the correctional facility for non-adults.

According to officials at the children’s home, Irfan (name changed) was produced before principal magistrate Shyana Patil, who remanded him in judicial custody for 15 days. The court took cognisance of the accused’s birth certificate produced by the police, which stated he was born in February, 1997.

The entire process lasted a few minutes, and no lawyer was present to represent Irfan. This is the first case brought by Crime Branch sleuths to the children’s home in a long time, officials at the home said.

At the home, Irfan was produced before counsellors, who recorded his details. In his statement, he said that on the evening of August 22 — the day of the crime, he was at home when he received a phone call from his accomplices asking him to come to the mill. When he went to the abandoned premises, he saw that his friends had tied up a man with belts and had taken a woman to the other side. He claimed his friends raped the girl one by one, but he only “kissed” her. After sometime, they dropped the duo to the railway tracks and went home. The police picked him up late that night.

Mumbai gangrape: Complete coverage

He also mentioned that he was the youngest of four siblings -- a married sister and two brothers.

He lost his mother when he was a child. His father stayed apart from them at Santacruz, while he and his brothers stayed with their grandmother near Jacob Circle.

A school dropout after Std VI, Irfan began working as a butcher at one Abid Chicken Shop close to his house.

He would get Rs 220 a day for the job, and would hand over part of the wage to his grandmother and gamble the rest away. He was in touch with the other four accused arrested for the gang rape for the last few years.

Rs 220
Amount he used to earn a day working as a butcher in a chicken shop near his home

Pizza boy to be his cellmate
The Dongri children’s home currently lodges 31 undertrial juvenile accused, of whom 3-4 have been confined for heinous crimes like murder and rape. A pizza delivery boy arrested for molesting and assaulting a woman in Worli is also lodged here (‘Pizza boy tries to rape 25-year-old in her house’, July 27).

Their common cell will be guarded round the clock by two police constables from Dongri police station and a resident guard. All their movements will be captured on a CCTV attached to the cell.

At the home, Irfan will be made to wear the home uniform of gray shirt and trousers, and attend vocational training courses. To start with, he will be put in the tailoring section, and during the period of his learning, won’t get paid. After that, he would be entitled to Rs 5 per day, depending on his contribution.

He will be allowed to meet his grandmother with prior permission from court, and police will have to seek court’s permission to question him.

Routine 5 am to 10 pm
>> 5 am to 7 am: Wake up and freshen up
>> 7 am to 8 am: Breakfast (milk, poha or chapati)
>> 8 am to 9 am: Get ready to attend vocational training
>> 9 am to 4 pm: Vocational training
>> Noon: Lunch (dal, rice, chapatti and sabzi)
>> 4 pm: Snacks (banana or puffed rice and tea)
>> 4 pm to 7 pm: Playtime
>> 7.30 pm: Dinner (same as lunch)
>> 8 pm to 10 pm: Allowed to watch TV (only DD programmes)
>> 10 pm: Bedtime  

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