The Mumbai Police on Monday clarified that none of the arrested accused in the Shakti Mill gang-rape case was a minor and it will argue for maximum punishment to all five.
The grandmother of one of the accused, Chand Abdul Sattar Sheikh, 19, had claimed that her grandson was a minor. She had produced his birth certificate claiming Chand was born in 1997.
Dr. Satyapal Singh, Commissioner of Mumbai Police, on Monday said that Chand was arrested in 2011 in a theft case and his age was registered as 18 then.
All the accused are jobless and survived by stealing railway property. A senior officer from crime branch confirmed that all of them have been involved in similar offences in the past inside Shakti Mill compound. Salim Ansari, one of the accused, who was arrested from Delhi in his interrogation, has agreed that the group, in the past, harassed rag-pickers coming inside the compound. “There are instances where couples were also harassed. However, we do not know the exact nature of crime as nobody has registered any complaint with us,” said the officer.
Ansari along with Quasim Sheikh led the gang. Out of two mobiles available with the accused, police have recovered one from Ansari.
“We have heard reports about the age of the accused. We want to clarify that none of them is minor. If need be, we will conduct bone vociferation test to determine his age,” said Dr. Singh.
Meanwhile, a team for four forensic experts from Central Forensic Science Lab will be visiting the crime spot on Tuesday. The team will collect forensic evidence which will be used while producing the charge sheet.
Police have made it clear that they will not go by any deadline to file a charge sheet in the case. “The case will be in fast track court and justice will be delivered to the girl,” said Dr. Singh.