The 35-year-old security guard, who was the prime suspect in the rape and murder of an 18-year-old girl student of a government hostel in south Mumbai, was not officially appointed but was a laundry man who committed suicide after the crime
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The 35-year-old security guard, who was the prime suspect in the rape and murder of an 18-year-old girl student of a government hostel in south Mumbai, was not officially appointed but was a laundry man who committed suicide after the crime, police said on Wednesday.
The father of the victim and her friend, also an inmate of the facility located in Charni Road area, told the police that the accused used to harass the student but the hostel administration failed to act.
Following outrage over the crime, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday said a one-member committee would conduct an inquiry into the incident.
Police are also investigating whether any other person was involved in the crime.
The victim, who was staying alone in her room located on the fourth floor of the building, was expected to go home after her last paper of the polytechnic course on Tuesday, a police official said.
She was raped and strangled to death with cloth inside her room on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.
The investigation so far revealed that the security guard committed suicide by lying in front of a suburban train after committing the crime on early Tuesday morning.
The key of the room of the deceased was found in the pocket of the deceased, the official said.
"There are three security guards appointed officially for the safety and security of inmates of the hostel. But the accused used to iron the clothes of inmates of the hostel. He was not officially appointed as the security guard but was given the task unofficially," the official said.
The preliminary investigation suggests that the accused entered the room of the woman by opening the latch of the door with a key. After killing her, he locked the room from outside and went to the railway tracks to end his life, he said.
The hostel initially had the capacity to accommodate 450 inmates, but for the last several months only 50 girl students and some women were staying in various rooms as the building was in a dilapidated condition, he said.
"There are CCTV cameras installed in the hostel building, but the CCTV camera on the fourth floor was not working, and it seems the accused took advantage of it. The deceased student was staying alone on the fourth floor on the day of the incident," he said.
Earlier two girl students, who were also staying on the fourth floor, had left the hostel after their exams.
Police have so far recorded statements of seven persons, including family members of the victim, other inmates, and officials of the hostel, the official said.
One of the friends of the victim told the police that the security guard used to harass her, he said.
The father of the victim also alleged the same and blamed the administration for not taking proper measures, he said.
The hostel warden told police that she never received any complaint against the accused security guard earlier. "If a complaint was raised earlier it would have been addressed immediately," the official said quoting the warden.
The victim was with her female friend till 11.30 pm on Monday. The accused was seen leaving the hostel at 4.44 am on Tuesday, the official said.
The accused, who hailed from Uttar Pradesh, had left his mobile phone in the security cabin, the official added.
Earlier in the day, Higher and Technical Education Minister Chandrakant Patil announced the formation of a one-member panel to probe the crime.
"Dr Nipun Vinayak, state project director, will head the one-member committee. State director of Higher Education and Divisional Joint Director from the Higher Education department will assist him. The inquiry report has to be filed at the earliest," said the government order.
Maharashtra Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis said it was an unfortunate incident.
"Police are investigating various angles and details will come out soon. It has emerged that the hostel security guard committed suicide," he told reporters.
Based on a complaint by the student's cousin and circumstantial evidence, an FIR was registered against the security guard under Indian Penal Code sections 302 (Punishment for murder) and 376 (rape), an official said.
The body of the deceased will be handed over to her parents on Thursday, police said.
The Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Ajit Pawar visited the Marine Drive police station where the case is registered and consoled her family members.
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