Late on Sunday night, a serial molester held a knife to a woman’s neck to prevent a mob from attacking him for trying to rape her. The drunk man managed to escape the clutches of the mob, but landed in the police net just a few minutes later, after he attempted to target another woman.
According to the Oshiwara police, 40-year-old Raees Mohammad Umar had been harassing women in Behrambaug in Jogeshwari (West) for some time before he was finally caught on Sunday, but no one came forward to complain because he has a criminal background and had been named in robbery and other cases in the past.
“Locals told us that he would target women whenever he found them walking on the road alone and harass and molest them, but they would not complain as they were afraid of him,” said a police officer. Around 9 pm on Sunday, Umar, who was drunk, saw a 40-year-old woman walking on the road and took her into a vacant shop to rape her after threatening her on knifepoint.
When the woman screamed, however, locals gathered at the spot and started shouting and throwing stones at Umar. Finding himself cornered, Umar put the knife on the woman’s neck and said he would slit it if they tried to touch him. The locals backed off and Umar managed to flee.
“He approached me when I was walking on the road. He pointed the knife at me and said he would kill me if I refused to have sex with him. When I said no, he dragged me into the shop, and slapped me many times as I struggled to escape. He left me only when people began throwing stones at him,” said the 40-year-old victim.
One of the local residents had, however, called the Oshiwara police to inform them about the incident and a team reached the spot within minutes, only to find that Umar was trying to target another woman. They nabbed him before he could do more damage.
Senior Inspector Subhash Vele from Oshiwara police station said, “We reached the spot after getting the call and took the accused into custody. The caller had informed us that he had beaten up and attempted to rape a woman. The accused was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.”
After Umar’s arrest, a 35-year-old woman from the area approached the Oshiwara police the same evening and said that he had molested her and tried to rape her three days ago.
“Based on the statements of the two women, we have booked Umar under sections 354 (assault or criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 506 (II) (criminal intimidation) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the IPC. We are investigating whether he had targeted other women as well,” said a police officer.