Mumbai: Hours before a 21-year-old woman could act on her resolve to report to the police against sexual harassment from three local youths, the trio barged into her house, and allegedly assaulted and gangraped her. Watching horrified and helpless was her husband. For the past few days, the woman had been the object of unwanted sexual overtures from the goons, who would pass lewd remarks and even peep through the cracks of the bathroom when she went in to bathe.
The three forced their way into her house on Monday night, tied up her husband and held a chopper to his neck. Then, each of them proceeded to rape the woman. The MHB police have arrested two youths, while another of the assailants is absconding. The arrested accused have been identified as Sunni Singh (23) and Harish Dattani (25). Both the accused are residents of Dahisar, the latter being notorious as a local goon. According to the police, the victim and her 23-year-old husband live in a shanty in the slums at Ganpat Patil Nagar, situated in the MHB colony in Borivli (West).
The man makes ends meet by selling popcorn on the local trains. Since he had to stay away for long hours, his wife would be alone at home for a greater part of the day. Recently, she had informed her husband that a few young peeping Toms had been peering into the bathroom to watch her as she bathed. DCP Mahesh Patil (Zone XII) added that the woman had also reported instances where the youths had passed lewd comments whenever she stepped out of her shanty to run errands.
The MHB police officers said that on Monday at around 11.30 pm, when the woman and her husband were deep in slumber, the trio came and knocked at their door. As soon as the woman opened the door, they barged into the house, and started assaulting the couple. Pointing a chopper at her husband's neck and tying him up with a length of rope, they took turns raping the woman. The victim sustained injury on her hands from her struggle to wrench the chopper from her assailants' hands.
After they left, the victim's husband informed the police control room about the incident, after which cops reached the spot and asked him to lead them to the residences of the accused. Based on the victim's identification on Monday morning, cops nabbed one of the accused. Another of the men was picked up subsequently.
"In his statement, the victim's husband said that his wife had been complaining of sexual harassment from a few local youngsters. They would pass vulgar remarks and watch her when she took a bath. He said that he had even asked his wife to approach the police for help, but she had shied away from going to the police station alone," revealed an officer. "The couple had planned to lodge a formal police complaint against the molesters today, but unfortunately, they were attacked even before could do so," said Mahesh Patil, DCP (zone XI). The accused were produced in the court and have been remanded to police custody till May 4.