A minor is pregnant after allegedly being raped repeatedly by a man associated with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in Vikhroli.
The accused, identified as Karim Bhudhan Momin (35), was arrested after Home Minister R R Patil intervened in the matter. Momin’s sisters Nasima and Saro were also booked for threatening the 16-year-old victim, telling her resort to abortion and offering her money to forget the rape.
Momin, a resident of Doctor Chawl at Nityanand Nagar in Ghatkopar (W), is married, has an 18-year-old son and is an MNS Vahtuk Sena worker. He runs a chicken shop in Ghatkopar.
The victim was employed at the Sanghani Naka office of the MNS Vahtuk Sena for the past two years as a cleaner at a salary of Rs 600 per month. The multiple instances of rape took place on the office premises.
The victim’s father died when she was young. She owns the property housing the MNS Vahtuk Sena office. She had rented out the space to one Mohammad Amin Faisal, who runs an NGO and the MNS Vahtuk Sena office from there.
Faisal is the state vice-president of the MNS Vahtuk Sena. The victim used to work as a maid at Faisal’s home, and after she rented out the office space to him she began working there as well. Momin was Faisal’s business acquaintance and would visit the office every day.
“Momin used to come to the office often,” Faisal said. “I have a wholesale chicken business and Momin used to buy stock for his shop from me. After the rape accusation surfaced, I asked him not to come here.”
According to the victim, Momin first raped her on May 12 at 10.30 pm in the office, offering her a chocolate and promising her marriage. He allegedly raped her again on May 15, 16 and 17 at the office.
On August 26, the girl complained of vomiting and her family took her to a doctor. She was found to be pregnant.
According to the victim’s statement (copy available with MiD DAY), Momin was told about the pregnancy and to buy time he promised he would marry her on November 16.
Soon after, the threats started. Momin’s sisters were allegedly the first to start pressuring the girl to take money and keep mum. Later Momin also allegedly threatened her into keeping quiet, telling her he knew a lot of leaders and criminals in the area.
Fed up and scared, the victim approached the Parksite police station in Vikhroli. Instead of helping her, the on-duty officer allegedly suggested she should accept compensation from the accused and settle the matter once and for all.
The victim then approached Sanjay Dubey, a leader of the Swabhiman Sangathan, and social worker Mansoor Sarwar Khan. With Dubey and Khan, the girl went to the police station again, but this time too the police officer allegedly said she should accept the Rs 3 lakh that the accused was ready to pay as compensation. The officer allegedly told the girl she could take the money, go to her hometown and marry someone.
“As if all this were not enough, the police officer called the accused to the police station and allowed him to talk to the victim,” Dubey said. “The accused again threatened her, saying he would kill her after marriage. He said it was better to take the money, get an abortion done and marry someone.”
Finally, on November 22 the police filed an FIR against Momin, but refused to arrest him. Dubey then met the Home Minister and submitted a written complaint against the police. After RR Patil intervened, the zonal DCP ensured Momin’s arrest on December 4.
Dubey said the police arrested Momin, but they also kept the victim in lock-up for a night.
“I can’t understand why the victim was lodged in the lock-up for the whole night,” he said. “She was freed next morning.”
The other side
Senior Inspector Sambhaji Patil of the Parksite police station said: “The accused does not belong to the MNS party. I don’t recall his name. I don’t even remember the section under which he has been booked. Talk to Inspector More, who is investigating the matter.”