Five held guilty in two Shakti Mills gang-rape cases

Mumbai, March 20: A Mumbai court Thursday found five people guilty of two gang-rape cases in July-August last year in the Shakti Mills Complex, officials said here.

The five were held guilty in the gang-rape of a woman photojournalist Aug 22 and a call centre employee July 31 last year. Both the crimes were committed in the same premises.

Principal Sessions Judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi will pronounce the quantum of sentence in both the cases Friday.

Home Minister R.R. Patil, who was present in the sessions court hearing Thursday, hailed the verdict and called it as the ‘Nirbhaya’ case of Mumbai, referring to the December 2012 brutal gang-rape of a physiotherapy student in Delhi.

“The judgment has been delivered in a record time. Mumbai prides itself in being a city safe for women. This verdict will be a deterrent (to sex offenders)… We welcome the verdict,” Patil told mediapersons after the ruling.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said he would seek the maximum punishment for all three — Vijay Jadhav, 19; Qasim Hafiz Sheikh alias Bengali, 21; Mohammed Salim Ansari, 28 — who were found guilty in both cases.

Besides, a fourth accused, Siraj Khan, 21, was found guilty in the gang-rape of the photojournalist and Ashfaque Sheikh, 26, was found guilty in the gang-rape of the call centre employee.

At least one minor involved in both cases is being tried separately by a juvenile court.

IANS