Three days after the heinous rape-cum-murder of a 32-year-old woman in Mumbai’s Sakinaka, police investigations have ascertained the sequence of events which arose from a monetary dispute and culminated in the crime, Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said on Monday.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi government has announced a compensation of Rs 20 lakh for the three minor daughter of the victim who succumbed to her grievous injuries on Saturday.
Providing details, Nagrale said that the accused – Mohan Chauhan, 45, a jobless driver hailing from Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur – has confessed to the crime which resulted in a massive political furore in the state.
Since the victim belongs to a Scheduled Caste, the police have added charges under the SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act, said Nagrale.
The accused and the victims were known to each other and met several times. Financial arguments led to the crime, and the police have recovered the object with which he brutalised her and later hid, he said.
Immediately after the incident, the accused went to his cousin’s house to clean up and change, and the police have recovered the clothes he wore at the time of the rape-cum-murder.
“The primary cause of death were the injuries inflicted all over the victim’s body Eminent criminal lawyer Raj Thakre has been appointed the Special Public Prosecutor for this case,” Nagrale said.
The police chief said that besides the confession of the accused, the statements of witnesses and collating digital evidence like CCTV footage, the police have established the entire chain of events that occurred on the intervening night of Thursday-Friday, the eve of the state’s biggest fest, Ganeshotsav.
“An experienced woman police officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police Jyotsna Rasam is heading the probe team. We shall complete the remaining investigations within a fortnight and filed the charge sheet within one month,” assured Nagrale.
While Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had ordered the trial before a special fast-track court, teams of the National Commission for Women (NCW) and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes visited the victim’s family and the site of the incident.
A NCW team led by Member Chandramukhi Devi and the NCSC headed by Vice Chairman Arun Haldar visited the incident spot, the civic-run Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar, met the victim’s family at their home and went to the Sakinaka Police Station to discuss the matter.
Early on Friday, the woman was raped, beaten and brutalised with a rod in a vacant tempo parked off the desolate Chandivali Studios, stunning the people of Maharashtra.
The accused had thrust the iron rod inside her private parts and fled the scene, leaving the woman bleeding profusely even as a security guard alerted the Mumbai Police Main Control Room.
A police team rushed there in 10 minutes and drove the woman in the same tempo to the Rajawadi Hospital, where she succumbed after nearly 33 hours owing to excessive bleeding, ruptured internal organs, and other serious injuries.
Within hours after the incident, deploying tech-intel, the police nabbed the accused Chauhan as he prepared to flee to Jaunpur. He has been charged with assault, rape, murder, and atrocities.
As added precautions, Nagrale announced a slew of measures including increased night patrols in deserted localities at night, help to women travelling alone at night, and mobile vans to be parked outside railway stations.
The police will also raise the issue of installing streetlights in dark areas with BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, provide for more CCTVs in such areas, etc.
Police will check strictly on people found drinking in public places at night and prepare a list of habitual sexual offenders who will be under the scanner even after they are released from lockup or prisons, Nagrale added.