Disturbing news of rape and murder have been reported from the prominent Marine Drive area of Mumbai. According to the media reports, a 30-year-old watchman of a girl’s hostel in South Mumbai allegedly raped and strangulated an 18-year-old girl to death in her hostel room on Monday night. As has been provided by the police, post committing this horrendous act, the watchman died by suicide by jumping in front of a running train hours later. However, the police have added that they will be able to confirm rape only after post mortem report of the girl comes. An officer said, “Primarily we have registered a case of rape and murder. We will be able to confirm whether she was raped only after the post-mortem report comes.”
As provided by the Indian Express, the Marine Drive police got information about the crime around 4 pm on Tuesday, June 6. As per their investigation, it is being purported that the said incident of rape and murder seemed to have taken place between 11.30 pm on Monday and 4 am on Tuesday, as the accused identified as Om Prakash Kanojia died by jumping in front of a running train around 4.50 am.
An officer said, “The girl last spoke to her friend in the hostel around 11.30 pm on Monday after which she went to sleep. Since she was nowhere to be seen throughout the day, hostel staff and other girls started looking for her in the afternoon,” as provided by the Indian Express.
When the search was started, the staffers went to the girl’s room on the fourth floor to check, and they found it to be locked from outside. “They then checked the main gate entry diary, in which the girls have to mention the time before entering and exiting the premises. That is when they came to know that the girl had not gone anywhere,” said an investigator, as reported by the Indian Express.
“The staff then looked in through the window when they saw her naked body lying on the floor,” the investigator further said.
It was then that the staffer informed the Marine Drive police, who then called a team of forensic department and finger print experts before breaking the door open. “We came to know that she was strangled to death,” said an officer. The deceased girl hailed from Akola, and had come to Mumbai to study in a college in Bandra.
As per multiple media reports, on investigating the matter, the police and crime branch officials found that the watchman of the hostel had also been missing since the morning. It has also been reported that some girls who were staying in the hostel revealed that Kanojia would often harass the deceased girl. On further probe, the officials learnt that the accused, who hails from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh and stays with his family in Colaba, ended his life near Charni road railway station.
“We started tracing him from the CCTV footage and he could be seen keeping his phone inside his cabinet at the hostel and walking out of the gate. When teams were sent to nearest railway stations, we came to know that he ended his life by jumping in front of a running train near Charni road railway station,” said an officer, as per the Times of India.
Senior officials of the Government Railway Police (GRP) confirmed that Kanojia (accused) ended his life around 4.50 am on Tuesday morning. “As he was not identified in the morning, we had registered a case of accidental death report. Later in the day, when investigators of the rape and murder case came to us, we took them to the mortuary of GT Hospital, where he was identified,” said a senior officer, adding the body was identified by Kanojia’s father. It was provided that Kanojia had been working at the hostel since the past few years.
Reacting over the said incident, Supriya Sule, MP from Nationalist Congress Party, said “This is a very alarming matter, both union and governments are not serious about women’s safety and this incident shows a failure from their side. Security arrangements must be made in the hostels. The government must install CCTV cameras and alarm bells inside the hostel and helpline numbers also should be set up,” as reported by the Times of India.