In an instance of deviant sexual crime perpetrated by a family acquaintance, a 42-year-old railway motorman sodomised the 18-year-old son of his best friend and colleague, when his family was away on a pilgrimage.
On May 21, O P Sharma (name changed, 47), a motorman from the Western Railway left the city for a weeklong trip to Vaishno Devi with his wife and his younger son. His elder son stayed back, home alone at their Vasai residence, as he had an exam due on May 24. “I was comfortable leaving my elder son alone, as he is sincere. Also, I thought I had friends who would look after him when I was not around. But I was shocked that my trusted friend did such a gruesome thing to my son,” said Sharma.
The “friend” Sharma refers to is Deepak Mandloi, his 42-year-old neighbour and fellow motorman at WR, whom he had entrusted with the task of taking care of his son in his absence. The Sharmas said Mandloi visited their house while they were away a few times before committing the crime, seemingly to check on his son. On these occasions, he also brought food for the victim.
The Sharma family alleged that on the morning of May 26, Mandloi reached their home to be greeted by the elder son at the door. Mandloi, who stays in the same complex, told him he wanted to use the bathroom to freshen up. “As he is a good friend of mine, my son knows him well. He did not think twice before allowing him to use the bathroom. But Mandloi emerged from the bathroom without his pants and asked my son to remove his pyjamas,” said Sharma.
When the boy objected, Mandloi forcibly took off his pyjamas, amid wails of protest and mercy. But his resistance did nothing to save him from the sexual predator. “My son cried out for help, he even pleaded with Mandloi. But he didn’t listen, and went on to sodomise my son. After the crime, he asked my son to keep his mouth shut otherwise he would kill us, his family,” said Sharma.
When the family returned on May 28, they found their son in a state of depression. The boy kept quiet initially, but eventually broke down and narrated how he had been victimised by the family friend. Sharma then confronted Mandloi, who tried wriggling his way out of the grave crime with an apology. A staggered Sharma then decided to lodge a police complaint.
“It’s not just about my son. There may be many victims like him. Mandloi can target other kids like mine. So I registered an FIR with the Manikpur police station,” Sharma said. Manikpur police station has booked Mandloi under sections 377, 511 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.
Investigating officer V D Kavade said, “We have registered a case against Mandloi for attempting unnatural sex and threatening the victim. He has been granted police custody till June 3.” Sandeep Silas, divisional railway manager, WR, said. “We are following the case and will conduct an internal enquiry. We will then take necessary action against Mandloi.”