Mumbai, Aug. 26: Mumbai police are planning a forensic push to “marshal” clinching proof against the five suspects accused of Thursday’s gang rape after a preliminary probe revealed that they tried to destroy evidence at the crime scene.
“Whether yes or no, whatever (the) accused do, they always leave some trail…,” city police chief Satyapal Singh said, asked whether the suspects had destroyed evidence by forcing their 22-year-old victim to “clean up” the place after they had assaulted her.
“Forensic evidence was collected on the night of the incident itself. A team from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (in Delhi) is arriving today, and another team of forensic scientists from Gandhinagar in Gujarat is arriving tomorrow to marshal scientific evidence.”
A police source later said the four-member forensic team from Delhi had arrived in the city.
A top officer said the crime branch had subjected the five accused to potency tests to ensure they didn’t use “impotency” as a defence at the trial.
The police are also looking for a rag picker who had entered the Shakti Mills compound, the scene of the crime, and is believed to have seen the suspects. “He could be made a witness,” the officer said. “We are trying to identify him.”
The five accused are likely to be taken to the crime scene for an “action replay” where the police will make the accused recount the crime in detail.
The police commissioner denied reports that they were still searching for the mobile phone on which the accused had photographed the assault.
“We have recovered the mobile phone. The accused admitted to taking only one photograph. When we searched the phone, the photograph was missing. But we are confident that our forensic experts will retrieve the photograph from the mobile phone,” he said.
The victim, an intern with a magazine, had expressed fears that the accused might make the clip — or clips — public, as they had threatened to.
The officer said a survey had shown there were 272 deserted or dilapidated properties like the mill compound. “It is the responsibility of the owners or the court receiver… to install CCTV cameras on the premises.”
Singh said the police had in January launched a helpline (No. 103) and installed a software called “Ice”, which can be downloaded by women. “The police will respond to any distress call from women 24x7,” he said.
He said the government had already started the process of fast-tracking the case and appointed Ujjwal Nikam, who handled the 1993 serial blasts case and the 26/11 trial, as special public prosecutor.