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Marks of assault on raped woman

Mumbai, March 13: The lawyers of textile heir Abhishek Kasliwal, accused of raping a 52-year-old woman in his Mercedes, today told a court that the evidence suggests no more than consensual sex.

An unconvinced magistrate, however, sent the 26-year-old scion of the S. Kumar’s group to police custody till March 17. Medical tests suggest the woman, who had bruises on her body and right hand and bite marks on the chest, had been raped, the police said.

The woman’s complaint alleges the attacker, who had given his name as Vicky Malhotra, had indulged in “non-stop sex” for two-and-a-half hours, raping her four times on Friday night.

The allegation of “non-stop sex” raised suspicions the accused may have been on drugs, but a medical test on Kasliwal failed to confirm that, the police said.

Inside the Mercedes, the police had found a water bottle filled with a mixture of alcohol and a soft drink, human hair and a used condom. The hair samples and condom have been sent for forensic examination.

The veil over the woman’s profession, however, didn’t lift even today.

She is believed to be of Goan origin but had lived mostly in Visakhapatnam, and for a short time in Calcutta where her father worked, before arriving in Mumbai in 2005. Her two teenaged children live with relatives in Goa, she told the police.

“We are trying to verify more information from her friends and relatives,” deputy commissioner Santosh Rastogi said, denying reports that she was a bar girl or a street-walker. The police said she was wearing a skirt, a top and shoes.

The woman has given a temporary address in Naigaon, Virar, in the far western suburbs. She hasn’t explained what she was doing at 2.40 am in south Mumbai’s nightlife area, frequented by street-walkers, when Kasliwal offered her a lift.

The last train to Naigaon leaves south Mumbai around 1.30 am, and there is no direct road transport to Naigaon at 2.40 am. The suburban services resume at around 4 am.

According to the police, Kasliwal had been pub-hopping when he spotted the victim at a traffic junction outside the Prince of Wales museum. He offered her a lift to Bombay Central railway station but drove her to Worli’s Sriram Mill, owned by his family, and raped here there.

Kasliwal’s great uncle and S. Kumar’s chairman, 75-year-old Shambhu Kumar Kasliwal, issued a statement expressing “deep pain” but adding that “if Abhishek has indeed indulged in wrong-doing, I would be the last person to come in the way of justice”.

Abhishek is the younger of the two grandsons of Abhay Kumar Kasliwal, who founded the business group with brother Shambhu Kumar in 1948.

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