The 18-year-old was on her way back home from a friend's place on Sunday night, when the unidentified rickshaw driver and his accomplice took her to a deserted spot in the Aarey forests and brutally violated her
An evening of Christmas cheer turned into a macabre night of horrors for an 18-year-old girl from the Netherlands, who was raped by an auto driver and his accomplice in the jungles near the Aarey Milk Colony. She used her self-defense skills to finally escape from their clutches and run for help, which she ultimately found from residents of a building near the Vanrai police station in Goregaon (East).
Helping hand: Hearing the victim's terrified shrieks coming from behind the building, Kamal Sheesh Upre (below), a resident of Om building, climbed the 8-ft high boundary wall adjoining the Aarey forest, and pulled her to safety
According to the victim's statement and eyewitness accounts received from the residents of Om building, Emma (name changed) had landed in Mumbai 15 days prior to the incident. On Christmas day, she visited a friend's house in Vasai. A male friend accompanied her on her way back to her lodgings.
At 1 am, the two flagged a rickshaw at Vasai, to take them to the Dahisar check post. They flagged down another rickshaw after crossing the check post.
After her friend got off the rickshaw at Kandivli, Emma asked the driver to proceed towards her residence in Mulund, via the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, as she was well-versed with the route.
She smelt a whiff of danger when the driver halted his vehicle after crossing Malad. It was then that another man boarded the rickshaw, sitting next to the driver.
Cops have circulated sketches of the two accused on the basis of the description provided by the girl.
Suddenly, the driver veered to take a left turn, and started speeding in the direction of the Aarey Milk Colony. He paid no heed to Emma's cries and repeated instructions to take the JVLR route.
When the auto reached a deserted spot behind the Vanrai police station, the driver's accomplice vacated the front seat and stepped into the backseat, next to Emma. She struggled to resist his advances, but the man gagged her and removed her jeans. One of her attackers strangulated her, while the other subdued and then raped her.
Emma, who was trained in self-defense, kicked the rapists in the chest, as they forced themselves on her. Bruised and bleeding, she managed to extricate herself from captivity and flee from the spot, leaving behind her bag, which had Rs 8,000 in cash, her iPhone and passport.
Disoriented from the ordeal, Emma saw faint lights shining in the distance. Hopeful of finding aid there, she sped towards it. She started screaming for help when she realised that her two assailants were tailing her.
Hearing terrified shrieks, residents of the Om building rushed to the ground floor, and moved towards the back of the building, from where the girl's screams were emanating. They were horrified to find a bruised and battered, half-clad girl running in the direction of their 8-foot boundary wall. They immediately climbed the wall and helped her up, and wasted no time in taking her to the police station to register a complaint.
Vanrai police have registered a case against the unidentified assailants on charges of kidnap, robbery and rape with common intention. They have prepared sketches of the accused on the basis of Emma's descriptions, and have launched a hunt for the two men.
Copspeak Additional Commissioner of Police (north region) Ramrao Pawar confirmed the incident, saying, "We have alerted the police officers of the entire north region to investigate this sensitive case. We have issued two sketches.
We suspect that the girl was raped, and have registered a case on the corresponding charges" Emma was sent to her home at Mulund after the incident.
Eyewitness account Kamal Sheesh Upre (28), a resident of the Om building, said, "It was 1.30 am when I heard cries for help. I was lounging in my rented second floor apartment with my roommates. I looked out of my window on the back wall of the building and saw a shadow running in our direction. I rushed downstairs immediately, but couldn't see anything in the dark. I climbed up the boundary wall and was accosted by a bruised woman, who pleaded for help. We pulled her over the boundary wall into the building premises. We gave her some water and clothes to cover herself, and took her to the police station immediately. She looked like she had been tortured brutally. She had bruises on her face, and cuts all over her body. Her lips were also bruised and cut."