After he slashed a 20-year-old’s hand on Sunday, cops say they will extern the accused again; Pankaj Gupte, father of Payal, who was attacked by the psychopath in 2010 says that won’t be enough
Alarmed that the attacker of his daughter, a member of the Thackeray family, had struck again and brutally slashed the hands of a call-centre worker, the girl’s father asked the police to hand over the psychopath to him and other Shiv Sainiks so they could “ensure justice”.
Pankaj and Payal Gupte
Pankaj Gupte, who is a music director, was reacting to the Juhu police’s statement that they would extern 30-year-old Siraj Ali Bachchu Ali once again. Payal also told mid-day that externing Ali would not be enough.
mid-day’s report yesterday
Ali had slashed the 20-year-old woman’s hands while attempting to stab her outside Mithibai College in Juhu on Sunday and had attacked Gupte’s daughter, Payal, on the same road in 2010. He had been externed from Mumbai for two years even then.
In a front-page article yesterday, mid-day had reported how Ali had attacked the 20-year-old woman when she was on her way to her office around 8.30 am on Sunday. Ali, who works in a restaurant near the college, had slashed her hands with a kitchen knife.
Juhu police officials had told this newspaper that he was mentally unstable and a “psycho” and had attacked several other women in the past. Ali was arrested after a nearly 2-km-long chase. He was produced in court yesterday and remanded in police custody for five days. DCP Vinayak Deshmukh said, “He is a repeat offender and we will seek the maximum possible punishment for him.
We will take preventive action (externment) against the accused soon.” Speaking to mid-day, Pankaj and Payal Gupte, however, said externing Ali was not the solution as he would attack someone else outside Mumbai or target women in the city again after the period of his externment got over.
After the attack on Payal, he had been sentenced to six months in jail and externed from Mumbai for two years, but came back. Pankaj, who has worked with Lata Mangeshkar and Bappi Lahiri among others, said, “I am very angry that the man who attacked my daughter is back on the streets and attacking girls again.
I respect the Mumbai police, but what are they doing? The accused targets women repeatedly just a short distance from the Juhu police station.” “I have learnt that the accused will be externed from the city. I don’t understand this. They are sending this dangerous man to some other place, where he will keep attacking other women.
Externing him is not the solution. He used to stand outside Mithibai College and attack girls with rods earlier. By God’s grace, my daughter recovered, but I am outraged that he has attacked another girl. I ask the cops to hand over the accused to us Shiv Sainiks. We will ensure justice.”
‘Don’t let him off’
Payal, who is an artist and is majoring in psychology, told mid-day, “The same accused has targeted another girl. I am saddened by the incident and it reminded me of when I was attacked. I want to meet the girl because I can understand what she must be going through.
I remember I was lying in a pool of blood and a medical student had come forward to help me.” Urging passsers-by to help in such situations, Payal said, “In such situations, I want people to come forward and help, instead of just standing and watching.
I remember when I was attacked, even muscular men did not intervene. I am happy that people at least caught the accused this time and did not let him escape like he had in my case. There should be an end to this. He just can’t be let off again to target another girl.”