As if dealing with the trauma of his five-year-old daughter getting kidnapped, raped and dumped in Aarey Milk Colony last week was not enough, the distraught father is also having to contend with shamelessly opportunistic politicians who are allegedly trying to gain mileage from the incident, nearly disclosing the girl’s identity in the process.
The girl was raped and left to die in the forest in Aarey Colony. She managed to make it out to the road and was found, bleeding and shivering, by a constable. File pic
“It is not easy to live with this stigma. My daughter’s identity has almost been made public. People land up at my house often to check on her health. Some political leaders, who have never even visited our house, are gaining mileage from the incident by putting up banners in the area.
mid-day’s report on March 3
If things go on like this, it will be difficult for her to grow up in this area,” said the father of the girl, who was kidnapped by an auto driver, raped and left to die in the Aarey forest on March 1.
The girl’s father, an auto driver himself, says he wants the maximum punishment for the accused, who ruined his daughter’s happiness. “She was such a playful child. I fear that this incident will change her personality.
She’s in junior KG right now and, before the incident, she used to say she wanted to be a doctor,” he said. The survivor’s uncle reiterated that the family was agitated by local politicians’ attempts to cash in on their misery.
“Recently, a local political leader, who has never shown his face to us, put up a banner in the area narrating our little girl’s ordeal, asking people to be cautious.
After the banner was put up, more people in the area found out that our little girl was the survivor and started pouring in to ask after her. We are already under so much stress and such things just add to our agony,” he said.
Recalling the events of the horrific day that turned their lives upside down, the devastated father said, “From what we have gathered from the police and neighbours, at 7.30 pm, when my wife sent my daughter to buy milk from the shop outside our residence, the accused had already parked his rickshaw in our compound and was waiting to kidnap a girl.
He saw my daughter and tried to kidnap her by getting her to sit in his rickshaw, but she refused. He then forced her in and sped away. When my daughter didn’t return home after 15 minutes, I began looking for her and some people informed me that an unknown rickshaw driver had taken her for a ride in his vehicle,” he said.
According to his police complaint, some of the eyewitnesses had spotted two to three men escorting the girl. They had not stopped the accused thinking that they were her relatives.
“I rushed to Sahar police station for help and also informed my rickshaw driver friends that an unknown person has kidnapped my daughter in an auto. Police also spread information about my daughter on the wireless and they also tried to find the accused and my daughter.
Two hours later, I received a message that my daughter was found from the Aarey forest area by a constable and she was taken to Cooper Hospital for treatment. When I reached the hospital, I came to know that my daughter had been raped.”
Based on what he’s heard from other rickshaw drivers and police officials, the survivor’s father alleged that the auto driver who kidnapped his daughter had also tried to kidnap a minor near Chakala metro station a fortnight ago.
He said the attempt was foiled because passers-by heard her shout and intervened, and the driver fled. The survivor’s father also said he “is very sure” that the accused is a serial molester and only targets minor girls.
No headway in probe
More than a week after the incident, the cops have not made any significant headway in the case and are yet to ascertain the identity of the accused auto driver.
Police officials said the accused cannot be seen clearly in the CCTV footage retrieved from the Aarey Colony area and that they are trying to prepare a sketch of the accused by taking the help of the survivor.
The police are interrogating more than 500 rickshaw drivers and one of their only major leads is that the accused was driving a rickshaw with yellow cloth on the roof as opposed to the black roof of the majority of rickshaws in the city.