I assumed molester was my father's friend, says rape victim

As paedophile who terrorised suburbs in 2012–2014 gets multiple convictions, survivors and cops recount the horror

Ayyaz Ansari, the molester
Ayyaz Ansari, the molester

Convicted three years after he was caught for his two-year reign of sexual abuse, the one-eyed paedophile, identified as Ayyaz Ansari, is expected to be in for a long time. Already serving a life sentence since April this year for raping a minor, he was recently convicted in another case by a special court.

When mid-day spoke to inspector Ajay Kshirsagar of DN Nagar police, who was part of the team hunting down Ansari, he said finding the monster, who had wreaked havoc in the western suburbs by molesting 50-odd minors between 2012 and 2014, took a lot out of them, but seeing what he had done, they were determined to track him down.

Inspector Ajay Kshirsagar
Inspector Ajay Kshirsagar

Fifty girls molested
The police said even though Ansari molested around 50 girls, only 13 cases were registered. "The survivor in our case was fearless; she picked him out in the identification parade. In court, when she was asked to identify him, she pointed to him and said 'yahaan baitthaa hai, isko kabhi nahi bhooloongi'," Kshirsagar said.

'You know my dad?'
Kshirsagar said Ansari would use the same line to lure the girls – 'I need to pass on an important number to your father'. And that, the inspector said, would invariably get the minors' attention.

An 18-year-old survivor from Juhu, who was 13 when Ansari had waylaid her as she was returning home from tuition classes, said, "He suddenly came to me and said my father wanted some number because he was going to Goa. It so happened that my father was indeed going to Goa. He asked me to accompany him to a nearby building from where he would get the number," she said.

Kshirsagar said Ansari did this with almost all the girls – taking them to an isolated building, saying he would go and get the number, and if they insisted they wanted to call home to relay the message, he would slam them against a wall and hold them at knifepoint while molesting them.

"Thankfully, in several cases, the girls managed to run away when he was distracted either trying to ensure there was no one around or when he was undressing himself," he added. "When the police called me to make a sketch, I found another friend of mine there, who said the same thing had happened to her."

A 14-year old from Amboli, who was 12 at the time of the incident, said she, too, was accosted in a similar manner, "I was walking to a shop when this man standing nearby called out to me and said he wanted to give my dad a number." The survivor's 20-year-old sister added, "My father stays out of India and keeps sending things for us. So, she believed this man and accompanied him."

Tracing the paedophile
Explaining how the team caught Ansari, Kshirsagar said, "We picked up his mother and brother and grilled them for hours. She kept saying she had no idea where he was, but ultimately cracked and told us about a friend of his who would know. Sure enough, we got our man through him." "'Isme mujhe mazaa aata hai', is what he said to us when we were interrogating him," said Kshirsagar.

'Give up the probe? Never'
When asked if there was any moment when the team wanted to give up, Kshirsagar said, "Never!"

"The then police commissioner Rakesh Maria had formed 12 crime branch teams to look for Ansari. The crime branch had detained Ansari's friend, but they let him go. We followed up and found Ansari," he added.

The 18-year-old says neither she nor her father were aware of the conviction and sentence of seven years. Her father told mid-day, "I think seven years is fine and I believe that in our justice system the punishment suits the crime."

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