Following a massive search operation, the body of a three-year-old girl was recovered by Cuffe Parade police yesterday. Medical reports confirmed that she had been raped and then killed. Learning that Agnel (name changed) had been abducted, her relatives had registered a missing complaint for her late on Wednesday night.
Agnel would live in Ambedkar Nagar in Cuffe Parade with her relatives. While her father Rajiv Sharma lives in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, her mother Sujan Fernandes lives with her second husband at Machchhimar Nagar in Cuffe Parade. “We have registered a case of kidnapping. We will add other charges when we receive the medical reports,” said Janardan Kharat, senior inspector, Cuffe Parade police station.
Cops have recorded statements of Agnel’s mother, maternal grandmother and other relatives. Medical examinations have also revealed injuries on her forehead. Agnel’s mother claimed that the toddler’s father had called her up two days ago and demanded custody of the child, threatening dire consequences if his demand wasn’t met. Over 200 jawans from the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) combed the area in search of the toddler yesterday, at the request of Cuffe Parade cops.
Toll rises to 3
This is the third such incident in the area since November last year. On November 13, a three-year-old girl was found murdered. In January this year, another minor girl was found murdered. The Cuffe Parade and Colaba police have together recorded statements of over 15,000 persons and tested 600 DNA samples in an attempt to nab the killers of the two minors, but to no avail. Sources revealed that five Crime Branch units are investing the cases. An officer from Colaba police station claimed that over 15,000 people have been interrogated in the two cases. Confirming the large-scale investigation, a senior officer said, requesting anonymity, “We are trying our best to solve the cases.”CCTV cameras have also been installed in the area. The spate of crimes against minors has fuelled the ire of locals and given rise to instances of mob justice. Last month, Cuffe Parade residents thrashed a Navi Mumbai resident Mohan Yadav, who later claimed that he had merely visited the area to meet his friend. Last week, 20-year-old man Krishna Pawar was also assaulted by a mob and handed over to the police after he was found offering chocolates to a minor in Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Nagar in Cuffe Parade. Cops tested his DNA but found nothing to link him to the murders.