Mumbai gangrape: Cop who 'alerted' rapist had shared 80 calls with him in the past month

Aug 27, 2013, 15:23 IST | Vinay Dalvi

Salim Mujawar of the Crime Branch was in constant touch with Kasim Bangali; it was after the constable called him to the police station that the rapist fled his house, which delayed his arrest.

Though the Mumbai police has nailed all the five suspects in Thursday’s gang rape at Shakti Mills, a loose end has thrown a spanner in the works.

Kasim Bangali

The call detail records of the main accused Kasim Mohammad Hafiz Shaikh alias Bangali have revealed that he exchanged around 80 calls with a police constable attached to Unit III of Mumbai Crime Branch, starting July-end until the night of the crime.

Top cop trio: Joint Commissioner of Police Sadanand Date (law and order) looks on while Commissioner Satyapal Singh and Joint Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy share a private discussion during a press conference following the arrests of all five accused in the gang rape. Pic/Bipin Kokate

The constable, Salim Mujawar, came under scanner after investigations revealed that he was in touch with Kasim. He is the same cop whose inadvertent call to Kasim on the night of the crime made the accused sniff a rat and flee.

“Mujawar was the one who had called up Kasim for the first time. He asked him to report to the Crime Branch office at NM Joshi Marg in Parel. Kasim was alerted following Mujawar’s call and escaped from his Agripada residence,” an officer from the Branch said.

Mujawar’s call had irked the police department since officials took a day more to trace him after he escaped. He was later arrested only on Sunday, and police said three cases of theft and one of robbery had been registered against him in the past.

Mumbai gangrape: Complete coverage

Though senior Branch officials confirmed the details, none wished to come on record to comment on the matter.

Some officials defended Mujawar. An officer from Unit III of Crime Branch said, “Mujawar had called Kasim on the day of the crime since he suspected him. In the past, Mujwar had arrested Kasim, following which the latter had turned his informant.”

Deputy Commissioner of Police Satyanarayan Chaudhary said, “We are not making any such inquiry at the moment.”

Impotency tests
Crime Branch Unit III has decided to carry out impotency tests so that none of the accused later claims he was impotent. “The J J Marg Hospital is carrying out the test. We will also carry out an ossification test to check the age of Chand Shaikh since his family has been claiming that he is a minor but our records show the age to be 18,” said Jt CP (Crime) Himanshu Roy.

CBI chips in
The CBI has come to the aid of Mumbai police. A team of senior scientists has come to Mumbai and will visit the scene of the crime. “The CBI has a very good lab and their scientific evidence teams are experts. We have already sent swabs of the girl to Kalina FSL. It will take 15 days for the reports,” said an officer.

Survivor stable, may go home soon
The gang rape survivor continues to improve not only physically but also mentally, doctors said on Monday.

The hospital said that she is undergoing counselling sessions and her physical parameters also continue to be normal.

Sources add that the family is now contemplating when to take the 22-year-old home, where she will continue to undergo counselling. Dr Tarang Gianchandani, acting CEO of Jaslok hospital, said she is eating normally and is being monitored by a team of experts.

Meanwhile, the chairperson for the National Commission of Women (NCW), Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar said, “We are in the process of forwarding our recommendations to the government, which also includes a compensation. We are glad that the patient is responding positively to the treatment and we have been receiving regular updates from the hospital.”
-- Anuradha Varanasi

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