Photojournalist gang-rape case: Trial starts
Mumbai: The prosecution in the August 22 photojournalist gang-rape case on Thursday opened its case against the four accused.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam read out the charges for which the prosecution wants the accused - Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari and Siraj Rehman - to be tried.
Arguing before principal judge of the sessions court Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi, Nikam described the crime as "horrible, gruesome, merciless sexual assault on two young girls".
He was referring to the gang-rape of the photojournalist, as well as earlier gang-rape of a telephone-operator in the same premises. Three of the accused were involved in both the cases.
"Mumbai city was aghast with the incidents," said Nikam.
The prosecution proposes to charge four accused, arrested in connection with the August 22 case, on 12 counts, he said.
Other than vaginal sex and unnatural offence, three of the accused -- Jadhav, Siraj, Ansari -- also subjected the victim photojournalist to oral sex, as per the prosecution.
In the draft charges, the accused have been charged with criminal conspiracy, gang-rape with criminal conspiracy, gang-rape with common intention, unnatural offences.
Ansari is additionally charged with showing pornographic video to the victim.
They have been also accused of wrongfully restraining the victim and her male friend and destruction of evidence.
The court is likely to frame the charges tomorrow.
Nikam said the prosecution was likely to file draft charges in the telephone operator`s case by Monday, and trials of both cases would be conducted simultaneously.
The crime branch on September 19 filed a 600 pages chargesheet against four accused in the photojournalist gang-rape case.
The victim was gang-raped by the five accused (one of them a juvenile, whose trial will be held separately) at the deserted Shakti Mills compound here where she had gone with a male colleague on an assignment.
Following this, it came to light that an 18-year-old telephone operator had been gang-raped in the same premises on July 31 by five men, three of whom are accused in the August 22 case.
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