Alone in Mumbai, the survivor asked an auto driver to help her find a place to stay; the driver stationed her in a rented room and forced himself on her for months, before abandoning her
A young girl who ran away from her home in Surat and made her way to Mumbai was allegedly raped several times by a 45-year-old auto driver, who she had asked for help.
The driver has now been arrested by the Malwani police. According to police sources in Malwani, the survivor had run away from her hometown three months ago, after an argument with her family members. She arrived at Dadar station, and then took a taxi to Bandra.
Having no acquaintances in the city, she hailed an auto and asked its driver to drop her to a lodge where she could stay for a few days. Realising that she had no support system in the city, the driver, who has been identified as Pandu More, took her to a relative’s residence in Versova.
After she had spent a few days in Versova, he took her to Madh in Malwani, where he rented a room for several months. Unwilling to return to her family, the girl started staying with him. “He forced himself on her several times under the influence of alcohol,” said an officer, on condition of anonymity.
Three days ago, More suddenly went off the radar, switching off his mobile phone and cutting off all contact with the girl. Alarmed, she tried to call him several times. She finally reached the residence of his relative, where More had taken her earlier.
At the residence, More’s relatives could not provide her any information of his whereabouts. Desperate, she consumed poison right in front of them. The relatives rushed her to Cooper Hospital, and also got in touch with the police. During her medical examination, the girl revealed to the doctor that More had forced himself on her several times. Based on this information, authorities at Cooper Hospital contacted Versova police station.
Based on the survivor’s statement and the doctor’s confirmation, the Versova police lodged a case against More under Section 376 (rape) of the IPC and subsequently transferred the case to Malwani police station, where the crimes took place. The Malwani police, with the help of an informer, arrested More from Malwani and produced him in court.