'My past drove me to more crimes': Shakti Mills rapist

Gogona Saikia

11 Jun 2018: 'My past drove me to more crimes': Shakti Mills rapist

Rape often alters lives of those involved, including the perpetrators: a fact that doesn't come to the fore that often.

But the tale of Akash Jadhav, the minor convicted in the Shakti-Mills gangrape case, throws some light on it.

According to Jadhav, life has never been the same since, despite him serving his punishment and despite him trying to turn his life around.

Rape: The brutal Shakti Mills gangrape

On August 22, 2013, Jadhav and four other men, adults, caught hold of a 22-year-old photojournalist who was visiting the Shakti Mills compound in South Mumbai on an assignment.

They tied up her colleague and raped her, leaving her profusely injured.

While sentencing four of them to life, a court observed that "in some cases, mercy is justified," but not in this pre-planned crime.

Jadhav: Jadhav, the sole minor involved in the crime

Jadhav, who was then 17, was sent to the Nashik Borstal School for three years, the maximum punishment allowed under the then Juvenile Justice Act.

The now 22-year-old was released in July'17. By then, his family, ostracized by society, had shifted from Dhobi Ghat to Kanjurmarg and Dombivli.

Jadhav settled in Saat Rasta. But his past life made him a marked man, he said.

Life: How one crime apparently prevented him from ever getting out

Jadhav became involved with criminal-gangs, who he says found him an easy target due to his history.

During July'17-March'18, he was involved in at least five cases, including attempted murder, kidnapping and assault.

Many were false cases filed by rivals, he claimed.

Meanwhile, his family is also suffering. "My sister isn't getting married because of the shame I brought. They cannot live with dignity."

Status: Jadhav will have to leave Mumbai, irrespective of guilt

Jadhav committed a brutal crime. Many would say he escaped lightly.

But if his claims are true, chances of him becoming a better person are slim.

Contrarily, police allege his behavior hasn't improved at all. They have now externed him from Mumbai.

Jadhav has learnt the hard way that the past can never be erased. All he can do is try his best.