Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Accused meets mom in lockup, confesses

Qasim Shaikh

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: One of the suspects in the Shakti Mills gangrape case has confessed to the crime in front of his mother. Qasim Shaikh (21), who was arrested outside Nair Hospital on Sunday, was visited in the police lockup by his mother, Chand Bibi, on Monday.
    “He was clad in a burqa and started crying upon seeing me,” Chand Bibi said, weeping. “Bade saheb(a policeman) told him to narrate what he had done. Qasim admitted to having done a wrong thing to a girl. I asked him why he did so. He kept quiet. I was shattered.”
    Chand Bibi, a widow for 10 years, stays with her three children in a shanty in Agripada. “On Sunday, some journalists came home and told me the police had caught my
son. I went to the crime branch office at night and waited for hours, but bade saheb did not let me meet my son,” she said. “So I visited again on Monday morning.”
‘I begged him to let me see my son, but the cop slapped me’
    Saheb told me to come after two days. I begged him to let me meet my son, but he slapped me twice on the face. I tolerated this since I wanted to see my son. A few minutes later, they brought Qasim before me,” said Chand Bibi. 

    Qasim is the first among the five suspects to meet a family member after arrest.   The atmosphere near Chand Bibi’s Agripada shanty has not changed since Friday. Slum dwellers gather around whenever a media crew comes calling. While some neighbours said they did not believe Qasim had committed rape, others said it was possible he did so because “the police will not lie to such an extent”. 

    The scene outside the home of Chand Shaikh (19), another suspect in the case, is no different. His grandmother does not understand
the legal implications of his crime. But she said that if he is indeed guilty, he should be punished for insulting a helpless woman.
    The police are questioning a friend of suspect Vijay Jadhav (19). The two lived together in a shanty at Jacob Circle. The police have summoned Vijay’s parents, who stay in Virar (East).   Qasim, Vijay and Chand Shaikh have been described by neighbours as drug addicts and thieves. Qasim was jailed twice last year for stealing railway property.

The Times of India, August 27, 2013

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