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Four get life sentence in Shakti Mills gang-rape

By The Assam Tribune

Mumbai, March 21 (IANS): A Mumbai court Friday awarded life sentences to four men convicted for gang-raping a 19-year-old call centre employee in the Shakti Mills Complex on July 31, 2013.

According to the amended Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013, the a sentence will continue till the convict's natural death.

The four convicts are Vijay Jadhav (18), Qasim Hafiz Sheikh alias Qasim Bengali (20), Salim Ansari (27) and Mohammad Ashfaque Shaikh (26).

On the evening of July 31, 2013, the victim, who had taken a shortcut through the Shakti Mills on her way to the Siddhivinayak temple with her boyfriend, was waylaid and attacked by five people, including the four convicts and a minor.

Initially, she kept quiet about the incident but gathered courage to complain to police after the gang-rape of a 23-year-old journalist in the same premises on August 22, 2013.

Principal Sessions Judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi had Thursday convicted Jadhav, Bengali and Ansari in both the cases.

The court also found Siraj Khan guilty in the photo-journalist's gang-rape and Shaikh guilty in the call centre employee's gang-rape.

Two minors, one in each case, are being separately tried by the Mumbai Juvenile Justice Board and the hearing will start next month.

The accused were found guilty under Sections 376 (D) for gang-rape and other sections pertaining to wrongful restraint, criminal intimidation, conspiracy, common intention, unnatural sex, and sections of the Information Technology Act as the attackers had also made a video clip of the incident.

Following a nationwide uproar, the Mumbai police nabbed the accused within three days of the Aug 22 incident and filed a 600-page-plus chargesheet against them.

A few weeks after the incident, the Mumbai police and civic authorities cleared the desolate Shakti Mills complex and beefed up security in the vicinity.

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