MUMBAI: Following the tragic incident in which an 18-year-old student was sexually assaulted and murdered, her father has requested the authorities to file a First Information Report (FIR) against wardens of the Savitribai Phule Girls Hostel, Charni Road. He claims that they neglected their duty in ensuring the safety and well-being of his daughter.
According to the Akola resident, his daughter was the sole student residing on the fourth floor of the hostel, while the remaining 21 girls were allocated rooms on the lower floors. The hostel management took measures to ensure that none of the girls stayed alone in any room.
“Why was my daughter left alone on the fourth floor?” he inquired. He also raised doubts about how the security guard Omprakash Kanojia, who died by suicide following allegations of raping and murdering the teenager, managed to access her room on the fourth floor. Kanojia’s room does not have a direct entrance to the hostel, and during the night, the internal gates of the hostel are closed. The police are conducting an investigation into the individual’s ability to gain access to the hostel premises and ascend to the fourth floor.
According to information from individuals in the hostel, it was reported that the warden had requested the victim to move to the first floor. However, the victim declined the request, stating that she was planning to go to her hometown for summer vacation on June 8. As a result, she did not want to go through the hassle of shifting to a different room for just a couple of days. In response to the allegations made by the victim’s father against the wardens, a senior police officer assured them that they would investigate the matter thoroughly.
According to the findings of the police investigation, Kanojia was observed spending 5 hours and 15 minutes on the fourth floor of the hostel. CCTV footage captured him heading towards the fourth floor shortly after 11:30 PM on Monday and descending at 4:44 AM the following day. Merely 14 minutes after that, he tragically jumped in front of a train at Charni Road station, resulting in his untimely demise. It was discovered that Kanojia had locked the victim’s hostel room from the outside, and the key was found in his possession when his body was recovered from the railway track.
The victim’s father also informed the police that his daughter had confided in him and his wife about Kanojia’s continuous harassment over the past 15 days. They had advised her against filing a complaint against the security guard, fearing that she might experience further harassment if she brought it to attention. Additionally, the warden has stated that she was unaware of the reported harassment.
“The completion of her examination marked the end of a chapter, and plans were in place for her much-awaited summer vacation at home,” the victim’s father recounted. “I booked her train ticket, ensuring she would return on June 8,” the grieving father continued. “Little did we anticipate the unfolding of such a heart-wrenching tragedy.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police Pravin Munde from Zone I stated that based on initial findings provided by the doctors who performed the autopsy, the student’s demise resulted from asphyxiation due to strangulation.
Despite their initial reluctance to retrieve the body from JJ Hospital without the registration of an FIR against the hostel wardens, the family eventually relented late last night.