Mumbai Gang-Rape Victim Says Hang My Rapists


MUMBAI – “I was born in Mumbai and grew up in this city, but never felt unsafe here even for a moment. After that day my faith is shattered,” said the teen survivor of the gangrape at Shakti Mills.

A call-centre employee, she visited the mill with her boyfriend on the evening of July 31that and was raped by five men, three of whom were involved in the gangrape of a 22-year-old photojournalist in the same mill in August. The traumatized couple fled to Chhattisgarh after the incident, where they got married. The crime was reported only after the couple returned to the city on August 31.

“Not even once did I have any doubt about marriage, I love her. Besides, why should she have to suffer for no fault of hers?” said Raju (name changed), the survivor’s boyfriend and now, husband. “It was one of the most difficult situations in my life. I was desperate to avenge the heinous crime but I had to focus on counselling her first as she had turned suicidal,” he said.

, and went to the police station to cancel a missing complaint filed by the girl’s mother

The marriage has since been approved by their families, but with no means of income the couple is staring at a bleak future. Raju, who was employed as a cook in a catering company, lost his job as he was away for a month without informing his employer. The girl, who worked at a Bhandup call centre, is too traumatized to return to work. Sources said crime branch officials have assured them help to find jobs.

Raju, who fought the accused, but was eventually overpowered and tied up, told TOI that he and his wife didn’t intend to run away. “There was no plan to flee to Chhattisgarh and get married, but the situation prompted me to take her to a safer place where I could counsel her. First, I had to remove her feelings of guilt and insecurity and restore her confidence. I decided to immediately marry her and thought of going to my childhood friend who lives in Chhattisgarh. Since I didn’t have any money, I called up my boss and asked him for an urgent loan of Rs 1,500. We bought some new clothes and took a train to Chhattisgarh the same night. In the train I didn’t allow her to move alone, even to the toilet,” said Raju. Three days after reaching Chhattisgarh, they got married in a temple. “I loved him but now I love him more than my own life,” said the survivor.

She was agitated when asked about punishment for the rapists. “I feel those five should be hanged to death in public so that a strong message is sent to deter such crimes. We have vowed to testify against the accused and bring a logical end to this case,” she said.

While three accused—Salim Ansari, Qasim Bangali and Vijay Jadhav—were already in custody for the August 22 case, Jadhav’s juvenile nephew is the only person technically arrested in the July 31 case. He has been sent to the Dongri remand home. The fifth accused, Ashfaque Shaikh, is still at large.