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Is a serial child molester prowling the streets of Mumbai?

Residents of Meghwadi area in Jogeshwari East suspect a serial sex offender, accused of rape and attempt to rape, is on the loose. The police, however, refuse to confirm their suspicions

Two incidents of rape and molestation, involving minor girls, have sent shockwaves among the residents of Meghwadi area in Jogeshwari East. In the first case, a five-year-old girl was raped by an unknown person. The incident took place on the night of July 4, when she was kidnapped, taken to an isolated area in the vicinity and raped. Barely a few days later, on the night of July 10, a nine-year-old was forcefully dragged by an unknown man, but he escaped after the child screamed for help. Both the incidents occurred within a week and have been registered with the Meghwadi police. The locals, as well as some police officials, suspect that a serial child rapist is behind both incidents.

Also read: 10-year-old raped by neighbour at knife-point

Two incidents of rape and molestation have instilled fear in the minds of residents in Meghwadi area
Two incidents of rape and molestation have instilled fear in the minds of residents in Meghwadi area 

According to the FIR, the girl who was raped on July 4 has stated that the accused forcefully snatched some money from her and kidnapped her. He took her near the jungle area by the roadside, and raped her, injuring her severly on her lips and ears. He left her there, and her desperate parents and locals from the area found her next morning. The girl is currently recuperating at KEM hospital. The Meghwadi police have registered a case of kidnapping, rape and have also charged the unknown accused under some sections of Protection of Children from
Sexual Offences.

The incident sent shockwaves among the residents of the area, but the fear was further heightened when a similar incident took place in the same area. On Thursday evening, a nine-year-old girl was returning home from a religious gathering when an unknown person caught her hand and pulled her away. The girl started shouting for help and the man ran away.

Social worker Mohsin Sheikh said, “The incident has instilled fear in the locals, who are now afraid to let their children step out alone. We demand immediate action from the police. Also, police patrolling should be increased in the area, as this may be a case of a serial child rapist.”

When sunday mid-day contacted Santosh Bhandare, Senior Inspector, Meghwadi police station, he said, “In the first incident of the five-year-old girl, the medical report confirmed that she was raped. For the second incident, we have registered a case of attempt to rape. A sketch of the accused has also been made.” However, he said that he does not believe that the case involves a serial offender and refused to comment on the police action being taken.

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