As pressure builds for justice in the photo journalist’s gang rape case, the Mumbai police arrested two more accused on Saturday. The two — Siraj Rehman and Vijay Jadhav — are in their twenties and live in localities around the site of the crime.
Two other accused are absconding. Police expressed apprehension that they might have fled Mumbai. “It is possible they have fled Mumbai but let me assure you that they will not cross the State border,” said Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh.
Meanwhile, the victim is still in hospital and said to be recovering well. Her courage and spirit has moved all those who have come in contact with her. “She wants to move on and does not want to be defeated by this incident. She even said she wants to go back to her job,” said Nirmala Samant Prabavalkar, a member of the National Commission for Women (NCW) which has formed a committee to probe the attack.
“I could see tears in her eyes but she didn’t cry. She is being remarkably brave. It’s because of her composure that the police have been able to make progress. She has managed to help them with important clues. She is clear that the accused should get the strictest punishment,” Ms. Prabhavalkar told The Hindu. The NCW member said the young woman’s family had been very supportive and considerate. More details have emerged of the sequence of events leading to the crime. Police say that on Thursday evening as the victim and her male colleague were walking towards Shakti Mills, they asked two men for directions. Little did they realise that these were two of the accused, who decided to take advantage of the duo.
Once the photojournalist and her colleague started their photo-shoot in the mill, the two men reappeared in the compound with a third companion. When the situation started getting out of hand, the woman called her seniors at office who asked her to move out. According to the victim’s statement, the accused forced her to lie to her mother on the phone that she was all right. The victim’s colleague was tied up with a belt and she was taken away. After committing the crime, they released the man.