In a cruel reminder of 2012 Delhi gang rape case, a 32-year-old woman, who was raped and assaulted inside a tempo in Saki Naka, died during treatment at Rajawadi Hospital on Saturday afternoon. Her death came 33 hours after the incident in which the police arrested Mohan Chauhan, 45. Murder section was added to the case after the victim succumbed without recording her statement.
Following an uproar, the Mumbai police have formed a special investigation team (SIT) and Assistant Commissioner of Police Jyotsna Rasam has been made the investigation officer.
According to the police, the truck in which the assault took place was drenched in blood. The police, who are yet to recover the assault weapon from Chauhan, said she could have been brutally hit multiple times in the abdomen.
The police said preliminary investigation indicates she was first assaulted on the road and then dragged inside the stationary tempo. On hearing her screams, a security guard from a company at Rasheed Compound in Saki Naka alerted the police control room around 3.20 am on Friday. Within 10 minutes, the police team arrived at the spot; however, the accused had already fled.
Mumbai police commissioner Hemant Nagrale said the victim had lost consciousness. “Looking at her condition, the police constable drove the tempo himself and rushed her to Rajawadi Hospital. During the medical examination, the doctors found injuries to her private parts, following which we registered an offence on the complaint of the security guard and began our investigation.”
With the help of CCTV footage, the police team managed to identify Chauhan, a driver from the area who also does odd jobs. He was later arrested from Kurla while trying to flee. Chauhan hails from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh and was disowned by his family, the police said.
We have seized his blood-stained clothes, which will be sent for forensic analysis, Nagrale said. He was produced before the court on Saturday and has been remanded in police custody till September 21. The victim’s body has been sent for post-mortem to JJ Hospital. The process will be video-recorded for further investigation.
The police had initially added section 34 (common intention) fearing multiple people had committed the crime. However, the CCTV footage revealed that Chauhan was alone.
According to the police, the victim was married and has two kids. The victim and the accused knew each other. However, the reason behind the assault is yet to be ascertained.
When asked whether the incident could have been averted if there is sufficient police patrolling, Nagrale said he will verify whether there had been proper patrolling or not.
CM orders fast-track trial
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has demanded a chargesheet within a month and ordered a fast-track trial in the case. Condemning the incident, he assured stern action against the culprit. “This heinous crime is a disgrace to humanity. The case will be tried on a fast-track and the culprit will be severely punished, ensuring justice to the woman who lost her life. Officials are directed to speed up investigation,” he said.