Though the first incident involving the accused, whose left eye is damaged, was reported in October last year, cops still have no leads in the case
The serial molester who has been targeting children is at work again. On Monday afternoon, he assaulted his eighth victim, a 13-year old, while she was on her way home from school in Sion.
The accused, with the distinguishing feature of a damaged eye — it is completely white — has been in operation for six months now, but is still at large. The police’s efforts to track him down seem to be limp at best, even as parents are terrified for their school-going children.
CCTV footage shows the serial molester luring the minor girl in Sion
This paper had reported about the man, who sexually attacks girls in the 8-15 age group. The first incident was reported in October last year in the western suburbs (see box). But with his latest strike, he seems to have broadened his hunting ground eastward to Sion, raising alarm.
The only substantial action from the cops came in January in the form of a circular. Police stations in the city’s western suburbs were informed of the accused, and were asked to stake out isolated places and slums, where the culprit is known to carry out the crimes. Sketches of the accused were put up at public places, asking the citizenry to beware and inform cops if they spotted him.
Creepy: The man, who has one white eye, has been caught on CCTV talking to the girl who
is riding a cycle. He then asks her to follow him
Not a lot
But molestation reports kept streaming in, even as none of the police teams have been able to glean a clue. Worse, some tried to explain it away citing the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. “Currently, the different teams formed at the level of police stations to nab the accused are busy with poll duty,” said an officer from DN Nagar police station.
|The sketch of the accused circulated
by the police
We learnt that only DN Nagar police formed teams to nab the culprit, but not before pressure built up on them after he struck in their jurisdiction.
Senior Inspector HR Parmale of Versova police station could not even recollect this case. When contacted for comment, he said, “I don’t remember it off hand. It took place six to seven months ago.”
Crucial CCTV footage
Meanwhile, cops have made a clip based on CCTV footage showing the accused with a girl he later molested. They are also spreading awareness among parents about how to preempt any possible attacks. Related seminars were held twice in Andheri and once in Bandra recently.
Off the record, police officers admitted that they are mostly in the dark as far as the accused is concerned. An officer from Amboli police station said, “We have no leads in the case. In fact, we don’t even have a clear picture of the accused. At the time of the incident, we had rounded up drug addicts and other people but none were charged.”
However, Additional Commissioner of Police Milind Bharambe (West Region) claimed to be “very much aware of the case.” He said, “We have provided inputs to the Sion police and are hunting for the accused. Currently, no special team has been made but our teams at police station level are trying to nab the accused. We have few a clues and hope to track the accused.”
On Monday, when the 13-year-old girl was on her way home from school, the accused accosted her and told her he knew her father and had been sent by him to bring her to his office. He then led her to a desolate spot, and attacked her sexually and physically. He threatened her into keeping mum and fled the spot, all under seven minutes.
A woman passing by spotted the inconsolable child and took her to her parents.
While lodging the complaint, the girl told the cops that her aggressor had one damaged eye. When the police showed her the CCTV footage of the one-eyed molester, she identified him.
He approaches his target and tells her he is a friend of her father’s, and wants to give a message. He then takes the girl to an isolated place. After molesting her, he leaves the spot and escapes within minutes.
First incident 6 months ago
The first incident involving the accused was reported from Vakola in October. The suspect approached an 8-year-old girl, and after telling her he was her father’s friend, took her to an isolated place, stripped and molested her, and fled the spot. The traumatised child told her parents about the incident after which a case was registered with Vakola police. The police rounded up several drug addicts and habitual offenders but none was identified by the girl. Cops then made a sketch based on the description provided by the girl. It was sent out to all the suburban police stations.
He then went on to attack young girls in Vakola (October), DN Nagar area (January), Amboli (March 9), Andheri (March 27), then two more areas, and finally, Sion.