The Telegraph
Thursday , March 20 , 2014
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Court holds 5 guilty in Shakti Mills gang-rape cases

Mumbai, Mar 20 (PTI): A Mumbai sessions court on Thursday held five men guilty of the gang-rape of two women in the abandoned Shakti Mills compound here last year.

The court will pronounce the details of the punishment on Friday.

Seven persons, including two minors, were arrested in both the cases, in which three of them are common.

The principal sessions court judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi convicted Vijay Jadhav, 19, Mohammad Qasim Shaikh, 21 and Mohammad Ansari, 28, in both the gang-rape cases.

In addition to the trio, the court found Siraj Khan guilty in the August 22 gang-rape of a photojournalist, and Mohammad Ashfaque Shaikh, 26, guilty in the July 31 gang-rape of a telephone operator in the same compound.

The Juvenile Justice Board is separately trying two minors, one in each case.

The court on Thursday convicted the five men for gang-rape, conspiracy, common intention, unnatural sex and offences under the Information Technology Act.

Welcoming the verdict, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil, who was present in the court, said, “The cases were tried in fastest possible time and victims have got justice....Hope this verdict will act as a deterrent”.

The first case pertains to the gang-rape of a 22-year-old magazine photojournalist who had gone to the deserted Shakti Mills compound in Central Mumbai with a male colleague on an assignment on August 22, 2013.

Five men, (including a juvenile, whose case was separated), were charged with raping her there after assaulting her colleague. They are Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari, Siraj Rehman and a minor.

The other case is of an 18-year-old telephone operator who was gangraped by five persons (including three of the accused in the first case) at the same premises on July 31, last year.

The accused in this case are Mohammed Ashfaq Sheikh, Mohamed Kasim Hafiz Sheikh alias Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari, and Vijay Jadhav.

Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali and Salim Ansari are common accused in the two cases.

The prosecution examined 44 witnesses in the photojournalist's case and 31 in the other case. The defence examined three witnesses in the photojournalist's case and only one witness in the other case.

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