The parents of a 15-year-old Nalasopara boy had to launch their own probe to catch the man who had been sexually assaulting their son for over two years.
The accused Kalpesh Shah also owns this shop in Nalasopara, which is just opposite the survivor's school
After an eight-month hunt that covered his school, teachers, areas where he went to play and even his friends, the parents found that the pervert who was abusing their boy was a store owner in the same neighbourhood and also a respected trustee in the local Jain temple.
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In the two years, the boy had gone into deep depression and had even stopped going to school. It was only after they took him to a psychiatrist did they find out the reason. With their hunt remaining futile despite all efforts, on February 24, the parents fell at their son’s feet and begged him to reveal the identity of his abuser. After much reluctance, the boy identified the pervert as Kalpesh Shah (52) owner of a neighbourhood store. He added that Shah had threatened to kill him and his parents if he ever told anyone about the abuse.
The parents alerted the police, who arrested Shah. He is now in judicial custody.
The parents told mid-day Shah’s shop was right opposite their son’s school. Two years ago, he lured the boy by giving him free chocolates. One day, he took the boy home and sodomised him at knife-point. After this, he threatened to kill him if he disclosed the assault to anyone. He even threatened to kill the boy’s parents if he told them.
“We found a lot of changes in his behaviour,” the boy’s father told mid-day. “He was very active in sports and academics but lost interest in everything and became a loner. Soon, he stopped going to school also. We asked him several times but he said nothing and his condition started getting worse. He stopped speaking to people. He would sit in one place crying and shivering for several hours. He could not sleep for even one minute.”
They took the boy to several hospitals, but couldn’t figure out the reason behind the condition. In July 2015, an Andheri psychiatrist decided to hypnotise the boy to see if he would talk. It worked.
“The doctor told us our son was being sexually assaulted by someone for several months,” said the father. The parents decided to launch their own investigation to catch the culprit. They went to his school, visited his friends and even each place where he had gone to play in the past, but could not find any clue. They also kept asking their son to reveal the man’s identity.
“We went to over 100 people but got no lead,” said the father. “I was frustrated and my entire family was suffering. We could not bear to see our child like this. On February 24, we touched his feet and begged him to tell us truth, promising we will love him and protect him no matter what. I sat besides him and asked him what actually happened. Suddenly, he broke down and started narrating everything. I was numb and lost my senses for a few minutes.”
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The next day Shah was arrested. API Rakesh Sakharkar of Tulinj police station said, “Based on the complaint, we arrested Shah under Sections 377, 506 of the Indian Penal Code and various other sections of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offence Act of 2012. Currently the accused is in judicial custody. We are making an air-tight case.”
The boy was shaking and inconsolable when mid-day visited his house. He said, “I was sexually assaulted at knife-point. I have suffered for two years. My body still aches. He threatened to kill my parents and sodomised me. I want the harshest punishment for him. I cannot sleep at night; I get nightmares and still fear him.”