Two men assault friends who were chit-chatting on a hillock, tie up man, kidnap and rape 20-year-old woman; accused arrested within hours
Virar police have arrested two men
The Virar police have arrested two men after they assaulted a 20-year-old woman and her friend, whom they had spotted chit-chatting alone on a hillock near Jivdani temple, on Wednesday evening. The duo tied up the man, then took the woman to a secluded place and raped her, cops said on Thursday. The accused had first extorted money from them, threatening to post their photos on social media, the police said.
The alleged incident happened near Jivdani temple in Virar, on Wednesday evening. Pics/Hanif Patel
The police have identified the accused as Dheeraj Rajesh Soni, 25, and Yash Laxman Shinde, 22, both residents of nearby Sainath Nagar in Virar East. They are school dropouts, said a cop. “The man and the woman were chit-chatting at a secluded place on the hillock when two men, carrying beer bottles, arrived there. The accused first clicked their photographs and then demanded money from them, threatening to share their photos on social media,” said an officer.
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“Since the victims did not have enough cash on them, the man contacted his friend and asked to transfer Rs 500 to the accused,” the officer added. Yet, the accused misbehaved with the woman and tried to pull her away. The man, in his early 20s, picked up a beer bottle and smashed it on Soni’s head. “Both the accused then overpowered the man, undressed him, tied his hands using his own belt and carried the woman on their shoulders down the hillock, while she screamed for help,” said the officer.
A beer bottle found at the crime scene
The man somehow managed to untie himself and ran down the hillock, asking passersby for a mobile phone to call for help. However, “as he was naked, people mistook him for a mentally ill person”, said an officer from Virar police station. One local resident realised that he was probably in need of help and alerted the Virar police. Cops arrived at the spot, consoled him, covered his body with a piece of cloth and took him to the police station, where he told them of the crime.
Caught at a clinic
Cops immediately informed their senior officers in the Mira Bhayandar Vasai Virar (MBVV) police and began working to trace the woman. “He [the friend] was unaware of the woman’s whereabouts. Also, her mobile number was switched off,” said an officer. Rajendra Kamble, senior inspector, Virar police station, said, “As one of the men was injured, I immediately contacted a few clinics, hospitals and doctors to find out if anyone had come for treatment. A doctor informed me that a patient with head injuries was at his clinic. I requested the doctor to send a photograph of the patient.”
Virar police station, where the case was filed
Meanwhile, a team of police had gone to the woman’s house and found her there. Cops convinced her to accompany them to Virar police station for an FIR. She told them the accused took her to an isolated place and took turns to rape her. “They then burned the survivor’s handbag and fled with her mobile phone, abandoning her in the jungle,” said the police. Traumatised, she could not muster the courage to return to the spot where her friend was tied up, and walked to her home instead, said a cop.
‘Duo nabbed in 2 hours’
After they identified Soni through the photo sent by the doctor, cops nabbed him at the clinic and later apprehended Shinde, too. “Both the accused were arrested within two hours of the matter being reported to us. Our priority was to first locate the woman,” Kamble said.
The spot of the crime in Virar
Both the victims were taken for medical check-up and a team of cops went to the crime scene to collect evidence. They gathered shards of a beer bottle and blood samples for forensic analysis.
“We have booked both the accused for gang rape, kidnapping and extortion,” Kamble said. They were on Thursday produced before a court, which remanded them in police custody until March 27. Further investigation is underway, said the police.
No of hours it took cops to nab accused