Vashi gang-rape: Every time my son wakes up, he asks if they have been arrested, says father

Updated: Sep 30, 2019, 07:20 IST | Anamika Gharat | Navi Mumbai

Refusing to accept the speculation that it was a case of a consensual act gone wrong, family of Navi Mumbai man demand action; senior cop says they are close to solving case

Two of the many unsecured entry points to Sagar Vihar through which anti-social elements enter the area. Pic/Rajesh Gupta
Two of the many unsecured entry points to Sagar Vihar through which anti-social elements enter the area. Pic/Rajesh Gupta

The one question the survivor of the brutal gang-rape in Vashi last Monday constantly asks his 69-year-old father is whether or not the rapists have been arrested. "I have seen him pleading with the police to arrest the accused soon and give them severe punishment," the father told mid-day. A week later, the police are yet to find any of the accused.

"This is the first time in my life that I have seen such a brutal incident of rape and assault. Unfortunately, the victim is my son, who is recuperating at hospital. We were left shell-shocked when the doctor told us what had happened with our son. I always keep my daughter protected from unsavoury elements but I never imagined that these monsters would attack my son," the father said.

He added, "I don't feel like speaking to anyone because I am disturbed by hearing and reading about what happened to him. To all those casting aspersions on my son's character, I tell them you will understand only if it happens to one of your own." Some media reports have said that the incident was not a rape but a case of a consensual act gone wrong, quoting Vashi senior police inspector Anil Deshmukh.

Spot where the victim was standing when the drug addicts dragged him into the bushes
Spot where the victim was standing when the drug addicts dragged him into the bushes

However, DCP zone one Pankaj Dahane said the media reports were false and that their officer had never said anything about it not being a gang-rape. Senior police inspector, Vashi, Anil Deshmukh said, "I have been misquoted in media reports. I have never said it is not a gang-rape. Our investigation is on and we are yet to come to a conclusion." The survivor's father said, "My son is constantly saying he does not know those people and had never thought something like this would happen to him. Our family has never even had a quarrel with anyone in our society. Nobody should ever have to face such brutality," he added.

The survivor's elder brother — who had to recently shut down his shop after facing a severe financial crunch — is struggling to pay the hospital bills. He said, "So far we have paid R90,000, which is just a small part of the bill. The doctors have been really helpful since Day 1. They gave us enough time to arrange for money to pay the bills. But, unfortunately, we are lower middle class people with limited sources of income. A few friends have helped us so far. We are still struggling to come out of this shock. But we are really happy that my brother is out of danger. We are very thankful to the doctors."

Doctors have said the survivor's intestines have been injured, which is why recovery is taking some time. Dr Prakash Shendge, who has been closely monitoring the survivor's day-to-day health condition following the surgery, told mid-day, "He is out of danger now but still he needs a few weeks to recover. We are happy that he has been responding well to the medication and psychiatric treatment. He is a brave man." Dahane said, "We are following a lead and will crack the case soon. Our team is close to solving the case. We are waiting for the survivor's condition to improve so that we can speed up our investigation. We are working hard on the case."

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