Vashi gangrape: Instead of alleged rapists, police are going after victim, say friends

Updated: Oct 01, 2019, 07:31 IST | Anamika Gharat

Friends say Navi Mumbai man broke down twice during intense questioning by insensitive cops, who are doubting his version instead of looking to catch the culprits

The survivor's friends with the letter they sent to the police last week
The survivor's friends with the letter they sent to the police last week

The police investigating the Navi Mumbai gang-rape seem no closer to finding the rapists despite bombarding the survivor with questions over the past few days. The survivor's friends have have blamed the cops for breaking their friend's spirit by continuously questioning him about his presence at the secluded spot on the day of the rape. They have alleged that the survivor broke down twice during the intense questioning.

They have alleged that their friend could soon fall into deep depression if the cops continue to handle the case in such a insensitive manner. Shailendra Singh, a childhood friend of survivor, said, "The attitude of the police during questioning is extremely insensitive and ridiculous in a way. They have every right to have doubts and the right to question him, but there is a way to do it so that a victim is not traumatised. He broke down twice during and after the interrogations."

The spot where the man was allegedly raped
The spot where the man was allegedly raped

One of the officers from the investigating team said, "In CCTV footage, we can see him parking his bike 200 metres from Sagar Vihar where the incident took place. In earlier footage, he can be seen going inside and returning to his bike within 20 minutes quite a few times. But, on the day of the incident he came back later than usual. Later, his location is untraceable and then moves to an under-construction building for some time. From there he moved directly to the doctor."

When the cops asked the survivor why he visited the under-construction area in the first place, he told them that he had gone to the secluded spot to push the coconut out of his system. The other thing the cops are suspicious about is why he left his mobile phone and wallet inside the carriage of his bike when he went for a stroll. The survivor said he did so as it was raining that day.

The spot inside an underconstruction building in Vashi's Sector 6 where cops say they found lots of coconuts covered in condoms
The spot inside an underconstruction building in Vashi's Sector 6 where cops say they found lots of coconuts covered in condoms

A police officer said, "He went inside Sagar Vihar without his mobile phone and wallet because it was raining. So, we do not have a clue what exactly happened inside. Whether he met someone or whether he was kidnapped. Secondly, he came back to his bike within five minutes and went to an under-construction building at Shivaji Chowk. To this, he told us that he had wanted to remove the coconut on his own but in an attempt to do so he felt faint and then decided to go to his doctor."

Singh said, "My friend also said that he had heard the name of a man and someone saying 'Isko utha le'. They were all speaking in Hindi. My friend has given the cops descriptions of their shirts and their faces. Why can't the police find and arrest these people? The cops have so many questions based on CCTV footage from all over, yet can't find the attackers. They are making excuses that they need the help of my friend to identify them and waiting for him to get back to normal."

The survivor has been questioned by various police officers in order to check the check the authenticity of the information. DCP Pankaj Dahane said, "His statement about what happened is consistent, apart from the exact technical details. We are investigating on this track." A social worker from Navi Mumbai area, Sushmita Nadkarni, said, "What are the police doubting? Why would a person insert a coconut into his own rectum and cause so much trauma for himself? It is something for them to think about."

The police are investigating an incident from a few years ago when the survivor had helped nab some robbers. He had seen some people breaking open the locks of a neighbour's house. He waited for them to enter the house and quickly locked the door from the outside. He then gathered all the residents and called the police. The accused were from Turbhe.

A police officer said, "We are checking whether someone from that gang took revenge. We are still investigating." Acting on a tip-off, a team from Vashi police station raided a dilapidated structure near a church at Vashi's sector 6. During the raid, police found numerous coconuts and coconut shells, condoms, cotton balls and mattresses. Anil Deshmukh, senior inspector of Vashi police station said, "We are yet to identify the spot where the 34-year-old man was allegedly sodomised. But, we have found this place and found material similar to the those used in the alleged gang-rape. Investigation is underway and we shall identify the spot where the incident occurred once the victim is discharged."

07
No. of days since the gang-rape

23 Sep
Day the gang-rape happened

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