Druggie held, girl rescued

The 19-year-old mentally challenged girl who the police had handed over to a complete stranger claiming to be her husband was finally rescued on Monday. The accused posing as her spouse, Shakti Kodi, was arrested by the NM Joshi Marg police on the charge of kidnapping and produced in court.

He has been remanded in police custody. The police suspect that the girl was sexually abused by the accused but they are waiting for reports from the Nagpada police hospital, where the girl was sent for medical examination.

Yesterday, MiD DAY had reported about the 19-year-old from Gujarat, who went missing the day she arrived in Mumbai, which was on December 25. Her kin lodged a complaint with the NM Joshi Marg police who found her last Saturday. When the girl’s kin did not hear from the cops, they approached the police station on Monday only to be told that she had been sent away that same morning with her “husband”.

When the family told the cops that they had given her custody to an unknown person, the officer on duty realised that he had been tricked by a drug addict who was posing as the girl’s spouse. A photo of the missing girl, displayed conspicuously on the cop’s table, did nothing to stop the grave error.

Additional commissioner of police (central region) said, “We will initiate inquiry into why the girl’s custody was given to an unknown person without verification. Appropriate action will be taken against the officer for his negligence.” The family has demanded that strict action should be taken against concerned police officer as he is equally responsible in the case.

An officer from NM Joshi Marg police station said, “When the girl was in our custody, the accused Shakti came in. Seeing the woman, he said, ‘She is my wife and I was searching for her for a long time. Thank you, I final found her.’ The accused fooled the officer sitting at the table. He showed him the name ‘Shakti’ tattooed on his hand and said, ‘My wife’s name is Shakti.’ He also showed the officer a fake mangalsutra.

The cop was convinced and the accused hurriedly left with the woman.” The officer did not comment when asked whether the officer on duty had not been negligent in handing over a mentally-challenged woman to a stranger without ascertaining his claims and identity.  

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