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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai Crime News > Article > Mumbai Rapist guard tried molesting another hostelite four days ago

Mumbai: Rapist guard tried molesting another hostelite four days ago

Updated on: 08 June,2023 07:43 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Anurag Kamble |

Murdered student’s family also alleges negligence by authorities in dilapidated 225-room hostel that housed a handful of students

Mumbai: Rapist guard tried molesting another hostelite four days ago

The victim’s mother (in white) sits at the Marine Drive police station, on Wednesday. Pic/Sameer Markande

The security guard, who allegedly raped and killed a 19-year-old student at her Marine Drive hostel on Tuesday, had attempted to molest another woman four days ago, said sources. Accused Omprakash Kanojiya, who died by suicide, was not even hired officially, they said. “If the administration doesn’t allow us to meet our children, then how did they give such people access to the girls’ hostel?” the victim’s father asked. 

According to the police, Kanojiya, 35, jumped before a running train after committing the alleged crime. He killed himself within 15 minutes of leaving the hostel in the wee hours of Tuesday, they added. Police said he was the laundry man at the hostel, but was given the task of security guard unofficially.

Corridor of the govt-run hostel where the woman’s room was located; (right) Omprakash Kanojiya, the alleged killerCorridor of the govt-run hostel where the woman’s room was located; (right) Omprakash Kanojiya, the alleged killer

The probe so far has revealed that Kanojiya had entered the woman’s room while she was asleep and forced himself on her. When she retaliated, he strangled her with her clothes and left. Police said Kanojiya unlocked the woman’s door through the ventilation flap at the top of all doors at the hostel.

The woman was a second-year student of Government Polytechnic, Bandra, and stayed at Savitridevi Phule Mahila Chhatralaya, a property of the Higher and Technical Education. She had completed her exams on June 5 and was scheduled to travel to her hometown, Akola, on June 8.

The Savitribai Phule Women’s Hostel  in Marine DriveThe Savitribai Phule Women’s Hostel  in Marine Drive

Stopped answering calls

On Tuesday morning, the deceased woman’s mother called her many times, but she didn’t answer. “My husband then made calls to Kanojiya, but he wasn’t answering either. So we called her friend and told her to check on our daughter. She found the door locked from the outside, but there was no sign of her leaving the hostel,” the mother told mid-day. Her father asked his sister, who lives in Kalyan, to go check on her.

Meanwhile, as the parents continued to make calls on the woman’s phone, the friend heard it ringing inside the room. She peeped through the ventilation flap and saw her naked body on the floor. She informed the warden, who called the police. The fire brigade came, broke the lock and opened the door. The girl was rushed to the hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.

The deceased woman’s room. Police said Kanojiya unlocked the door through the ventilation flap on the topThe deceased woman’s room. Police said Kanojiya unlocked the door through the ventilation flap on the top

Kanojiya’s involvement

During the investigation, the police were told that Kanojiya, who did laundry at the hostel and was the night security guard, had also been missing since morning. He was seen leaving the hostel at 4.44 am. On CCTV cameras, he was seen walking towards Charni Road railway station. A body had been found on tracks between Grant Road and Charni Road railway stations, which turned out to be of Kanojiya. The police found in his pocket the keys to the woman’s room.

Strangled to death

The post-mortem report of the woman stated that there were multiple abrasions on her body. Forensic experts opined that the death had occurred due to strangulation. They are yet to confirm sexual assault. No suicide note has been found.

The woman’s distraught relativesThe woman’s distraught relatives

Father had met Kanojiya

The woman’s father said he became acquainted with Kanojiya during his trip to the hostel to meet his daughter, once in two to three months. He said, “He used to tell me not to worry, as he would take care of my daughter. I have one question for the hostel administration—if they don’t allow parents to meet their children, then how can they give such people access to the entire hostel?”

Alone on floor

The 225-room hostel, which can accommodate 450 women, was declared dilapidated a couple of years ago, police said.

Of the 35-40 students staying there, most had gone home as the exams were over. The woman was among the three students who lived on the fourth-floor. But, on Monday night, she was alone after the other two left for their hometown on Sunday. A friend living in the city had asked her to stay over at her place, but the woman insisted on returning to the hostel, saying her belongings were still there and that she was leaving for home soon.

Kanojiya harassed others

A couple of girls, in their statement to the police, alleged that the administrators had given Kanojiya full authority over the hostel at night. He would roam on the floors freely, making unwarranted comments. Last week, he had sexually harassed another woman and she told about it to her friend, but not to her parents or warden.

Hostel Superintendent Rekha Andhare said, “We never received any complaint from any girl regarding harassment by the accused.”

“The investigation is in the initial stage, we have secured the hostel room and taken fingerprint samples to find out whether there is involvement of any third person. Also, the call details record needs to be checked between the victim and the accused to find the nature of their relationship,” said Dr Praveen Mundhe, deputy commissioner of police (zone 1).

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