The Mumbai Police on Friday sent one of the accused, arrested in the Shakti Mill compound gang rape case, to the remand home in Dongri, accepting documents collected during investigation which indicated he was a minor.
All the five arrested on Thursday underwent bone ossification test to determine their exact age. “As per the documents collected during investigation, he is a minor and being treated such. If further medical examination results reveal otherwise, he will be treated as an adult,” said a senior officer of the Mumbai Crime Branch.
The remand copy presented in a local court here said that the mother of an accused claimed that he is a minor and presented certain documents during the investigation. “The documents presented by her will be certified and presented before the juvenile justice board, where a final decision on his age will be taken,” it said.
“His family had been claiming he was a minor. Since now he has been sent to remand home, he should be treated under the respective law,” said advocate Flavia Agnes, co-founder of Majlis, a resource centre on women’s issues. According to Ms. Agnes, juveniles committing such a crime are a part of bigger social problem. “This accused was supposed to be in a school, but he is a dropout. We need to focus on these issues to tackle the problem.”
The police custody of Siraj Khan, Vijay Jadhav and Quasim Bangali was extended up to September 5. Quasim’s lawyer too made an application claiming the accused is a minor. The court rejected his plea on grounds that he was treated as major in a 2012 case, when he was tried in Girgaum court. Quasim’s physical appearance did not suggest that he is a minor.
The police have added two more IPC Sections in the case — 377 (offence relating unnatural sex) and 120 b (criminal conspiracy).