(Pics) Shakti Mill rape: Rapists given life imprisonment

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Mumbai, March 21: Probably the fastest ever verdict given by the Mumbai court, the Shakti Mill gangrape case ended in victory for the telephone operator while the hearing for the photojournalist's case has been adjourned till March 24. All the four convicts who were accused of raping an 18-year old telephone operator in July have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Inside reports say that the judge showed no mercy to the plea of the defence lawyer who said that one of them had an old mother to look after, another a father of 2 and the sole breadwinner and a third one was very poor.

Three of the six men (accused in the serial rape case)-Mohammed Kasim Sheikh, Vijay Jadhav and Salim Ansari-were convicted for both the rapes. Siraj Rehman Khan was found guilty only for the photojournalist's rape. Mohammed Ashwaq Sheikh, the fifth one was held for the rape of the telephone operator.

The sixth accused was under 18 at the time of the crime and is being tried under the juvenile court.

Placing the case in front of the judge yesterday, the prosecution said that all the men lived in the nearby village and spent idle time at the compound, attacked and threatened women, confident that they would never be caught.

The photojournalist was accompanied by her colleague for an assignment at the Shakti Mills compound when the men pretended to help them grant permission for shooting in the compound. They then tied the male colleague and dragged the photojournalist to a shrubbery where she was gangraped.

The men threatened her with a beer bottle and then accompanied the duo to the nearby train station to ensure that they did not go to the police station. Appreciating the bravery of the journalist who provided crucial details regarding the case, the judge called her brave and said that she went straight to the hospital and allowed the doctors to take medical samples that proved to be crucial evidence for the case.

After the rapists were tracked and arrested, the telephone operator identified three of these men and reported the police.

The prosecution lawyer, in a press meet, said that the men were sentenced and fined for unnatural sex and brutality.

The telephone operator's marriage had been fixed and she was going to the Mahalaxmi Temple with her fiancee through a short cut as she had hurt her feet. She encountered the rapists in the Shakti Mill compound that fell on her way. She was gangraped and brutally beaten by them.

"This was their general tendency whenever they saw a woman. If one saw, the others were called for the "maal". That is how they saw women", said the lawyer.

In Mumbai

One of four men convicted for gang raping a photojournalist last year, is taken to the Session Court from Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai on Thursday. The court is expected to pronounce the quantum of punishment on Friday.

In Mumbai

One of four men convicted for gang raping a photojournalist last year, is taken to the Session Court from Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai on Thursday. The court is expected to pronounce the quantum of punishment on Friday.

In Mumbai

One of four men convicted for gang raping a photojournalist last year, is taken to the Session Court from Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai on Thursday. The court is expected to pronounce the quantum of punishment on Friday.

In Mumbai

One of four men convicted for gang raping a photojournalist last year, is taken to the Session Court from Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai on Thursday. The court is expected to pronounce the quantum of punishment on Friday.

In Mumbai

One of four men convicted for gang raping a photojournalist last year, is taken to the Session Court from Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai on Thursday. The court is expected to pronounce the quantum of punishment on Friday.

In Mumbai

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam flashes victory signs outside a court after the conviction of four men for gang raping a photojournalist last year, in Mumbai on Thursday.

In Mumbai

File photo of Shakti Mill Compound in Mumbai where a photojournalist was gang raped last year. A Sessions Court in Mumbai on Thursday convicted for men and a minor in the case.

In Mumbai

File photo of Shakti Mill Compound in Mumbai where a photojournalist was gang raped last year. A Sessions Court in Mumbai on Thursday convicted for men and a minor in the case.

In Mumbai

The four convicts whom the sessions court awarded life term in the Shakti Mills gang-rape case in Mumbai on Friday.

In Mumbai

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam gestures as he addresses the media after the verdict in the Shakti Mills gang-rape case in Mumbai on Friday.

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