The arrest on Thursday of a drunkard from Bhandup, who drove a 13-year-old to attempting suicide by repeatedly showing her obscene videos, may have prevented many more young girls from meeting such a fate.
It turns out that Sameer Ghugare (33), whose arrest mid-day had reported yesterday (‘Harassed by drunkard, 13-yr-old sets self ablaze’), had shown such videos and threatened the victim’s eight-year-old sister as well. His desperation, apart from his alcoholism, reportedly stems from the fact that his wife and child have been away at their native place for a month.
Investigations into the 13-year-old’s attempted suicide have revealed that she was terrorised by Ghugare to such an extent that after she was rushed to the hospital with 45% burns, she lied to her mother and told her that scalding hot water had accidentally fallen on her. Senior police inspector P R Chavan of Bhandup police station said, “After we were informed about the suicide attempt on July 1, a team was sent and she was taken to Sion Hospital. When the girl’s mother asked her what had happened, she said she was trying to drink hot water and it had fallen on her.”
However, following procedure, a police team reached the house for the panchnama on Wednesday, and only then did they realise that the girl had doused herself in kerosene and set herself ablaze.
“In order to find out why the girl had lied to her, the mother starting going through all her notebooks. It was then that she found the girl’s suicide note, in which she said she was very sorry, but had to take the extreme step because Ghugare had been harassing her and had threatened her with dire consequences if she spoke of the incidents. She mentioned that for more details, the finder of the suicide note could contact one Sapna (name changed),” said Chavan.
The police are yet to ascertain the role of 12-year-old Sapna, but preliminary investigation has revealed that she had introduced Ghugare to the victim.
When the police filed a case and arrested Ghugare on Thursday, the victim’s eight-year-old sister told her mother that he had done the same thing to her. “Ghugare is an alcoholic and his wife and their son have been in their native place since a month. So, he has been calling little girls to his house and showing them obscene videos. He also murmured vulgar language in their ears while doing so. The accused has been booked for attempted rape, among other charges. We are still trying to figure out whether he had showed such videos to any other girls in the area.”
Ghugare has been booked under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 293 (sale, etc, of obscene objects to a young person) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code, along with relevant sections under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.