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`Untraceable` Mumbai photojournalist gang-rape case accused found

Last Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 16:23

Zee Media Bureau

Mumbai: After being initially untraceable, one of the five persons accused of gang-raping a young photojournalist in Shakti Mills compound on August 22, was later found to be in Thane jail on Thursday.

The development came as a major embarrassment for Mumbai Police as TV reports earlier claimed that one of those accused `Siraj Rehman Khan` has escaped from the Thane jail where they all have been lodged.

However, shortly after that Khan was traced in his Thane jail cell.

Confirming the development, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjawal Nikam had earlier said, "Siraj Rahman Khan, an accused in Shakti Mills gang-rape case of photojournalist, is untraceable."
The Mumbai Sessions court took a serious note of this development and asked the concerned authorities to file a reply tomorrow, the Special Public Prosecutor said.

The development came days after a dreaded Indian Mujahideen militant Afzal Usmani, an accused in 2008 Ahmedabad and Surat blast cases, also escaped while being produced in a local court here.

Mumbai Police had recently filed a chargesheet against four accused in last month`s gang-rape case.

A chargesheet was filed separately against the juvenile accomplice of the accused before a juvenile court.

The accused have been charged under various sections of IPC including 376(d) (gang rape), 377 (unnatural offence), 201 (destruction of evidence) and 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) among others.
The 600-page chargesheet filed in a magistrate`s court has details of the survivor`s ordeal, statements of 86 witnesses, forensic evidence collected from the spot, DNA analysis reports, besides phone call records.

The photojournalist was allegedly raped by the five accused when she had gone to the deserted Shakti Mills compound on August 22 with a male colleague on assignment.

The accused - Salim Ansari, Vijay Jadhav, Mohammed Kasim Hafiz Shaikh alias Kasim Bengali, Siraj Rehman Khan and the minor - had tied up the survivor`s male companion with belts and allegedly raped her.

Police had claimed it had a "watertight" case against all the five accused.

First Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 15:40
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