Four more detained after rape of woman in front of husband on train to Mumbai
Kalyan Railway Police arrested four other people on Sunday for sexually assault a 20 year old woman Friday evening in front of her husband and her co-passengers of the Lucknow-Mumbai Pushpak Express between the stations of Igatpuri and Kasara in Maharashtra.
The eight defendants have now been arrested, police said; four were arrested within hours of the crime being reported.
Four of the eight men have criminal records. Police said the defendants were under the influence of drugs at the time of the crime.
Kashinath Helam alias Kalshya (22), Dhananjay Bhagat alias Guddu (18), Akash Shenare (19) and Rahul Adole (21) were arrested in Igatpuri on Sunday. Arshad Shaikh (19), Prakash Pardhi alias Pakya (20), Arjun Pardeshi (20) and Kishore Sonawane alias Kalu (25) were arrested earlier.
Seven of the accused are from Igatpuri; the eighth, Arshad Shaikh, is from Malad in Mumbai.
Arshad is said to be a drug addict who was returning to Mumbai after leaving home after a feud with his family earlier. According to the police, he did not know the other men until they met in Igatpuri.
“He (Arshad) was in possession of cannabis. He was fortunate enough to meet the other seven defendants in Igatpuri as he returned to Mumbai on Friday. They became friends and started smoking cannabis. They were stoned when they decided to board the Pushpak Express and steal passengers, ”a police officer said on Saturday.
Police say the men boarded the Pushpak Express as it exited the station. “As the train headed for Mumbai, the men, who had knives, belts and blades, threatened and robbed the passengers,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Manoj Patil.
Nine passengers were robbed of their cell phones, six were robbed of money and the woman was sexually assaulted. “When her husband and a co-passenger tried to intervene, the thieves assaulted them with weapons,” Patil said.
Another officer said that of the Rs 96,390 in cash and goods taken from passengers, Rs 34,200 was recovered from the four men arrested earlier.
When the train stopped at Kasara, passengers sounded the alarm and railway staff chased down and grabbed two of the eight suspected criminals, who led police to two more.
An FIR has been filed under IPC Sections 395 (dacoity), 397 (theft or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or serious injury), 376 (D) (gangrape), 354 (molestation) and 354 (B) (assault or use of criminal force against a woman with the intention of undressing) and the Railway Act.
The woman got married six months ago. She and her husband were going to Mumbai to look for work. She was released from the hospital, police said.
“The victim is stable and has been released from the hospital. All the accused have been arrested. Investigations are ongoing, ”said Quaiser Khalid, Mumbai Railway Police Commissioner.
Police Inspector Shardul Valmiki of the Kalyan GRP said seven defendants had been brought to court and taken into custody until October 16. The other defendants will be presented to court on Monday.
Police recorded statements from 13 passengers who witnessed the alleged crime.
There was no member of the Railroad Protection Force (RPF) on the train. Railway officials said RPF teams are deployed after 10 p.m. on trains and sections with a history of criminal incidents. The Pushpak Express arrives in Kalyan well before 10 p.m. and has no criminal history, officials said.
The central rail RPF will hold a review meeting on train safety on Monday. “We will also coordinate with the government railway police,” said an officer.