Even as the Mumbai police externed Shakti Mills gangrape convict Akash Jadhav from the city for his involvement in various criminal activities, the 22-year-old claims the label of ‘rapist’ has pushed him deeper into crime.
“I wanted to live a peaceful life, but some people have taken advantage of my criminal past to involve my name in their illegal plans. The Shakti Mills gangrape label on my head has pushed me deep in the world of crime,” said Jadhav, who was a minor at time of the incident in 2013.
Jadhav was 17 when he and four others sexually assaulted an 18-year-old call centre employee inside the abandoned mills complex, on July 31, 2013.
In July 2014, the Juvenile Justice Board (Mumbai city) ordered Jadhav and another minor to be sent to Nashik Borstal School for three years — the maximum period permissible under the then Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.
In July 2017, Jadhav and another minor accused (both adults now) were released from the juvenile detention centre.
By this time, Jadhav’s family, who lived in Mahalaxmi’s Dhobi Ghat area at the time of the crime, had shifted to Kanjurmarg. Later, the family moved to Dombivli. Jadhav, however, has chosen to stay in Saat Rasta in Mahalaxmi, close to his old locality.
Between July 2017 and March 2018, he has been involved allegedly in multiple criminal cases — two registered at Agripada police station and two at NM Joshi Marg. These are cases of attempted murder, kidnapping, extortion, assault and blackmail. As of now, there are five FIRs registered against him, and there have been subsequent arrests.
In three of the five cases, the complainants belongs to one group which is on bad terms with the group Jadhav is associated with.
“These people want to target their enemy by targeting me as I belong to that group. And since I have a gangrape case on my head, it makes their work easy to convince the police that my friends and I are criminals,” Jadhav said, offering an explanation for his name coming up in these crimes. “Now and then they lodge false police complaints against me. As I am convicted in a serious crime, the police also have this perception that I must have committed some crime.”
“I had hoped to restart my life but they (enemy group) always tease me, taunt me, provoke me. They lodged a false complaint against me. This angered me, so I attacked a person out of anger. Following this, an attempted murder case was lodged against me. They were anyway going to register false cases against me, so I decided, why not teach them a lesson,” Jadhav said.
“The entire world is against me and has discarded me from society, all except my family. I have served punishment for my crime, but some people in society keep linking me with my past again and again and don’t allow me to move on with my life,” he said.
Jadhav said society’s judgement affects not only him but also his family. “My sister is not getting married because of the shame I have brought to my family. They cannot live with respect and dignity,” he said.