Crime Branch officers arrested a 25-year-old man yesterday for allegedly kidnapping a 13-year-old girl from Malwani in Malad (W). According to the officers, the man identified as Rashid Qureshi had lured the victim from the ground outside her Malwani residence and taken her to his flat in Kanchpada on Link Road in Malad (W). The girl knows Qureshi, who stays in the same area in Malwani as hers.
In her statement to the police, the teenager said that while she was playing outside her house, the man whom she would address as ‘uncle’, asked her to accompany him till the main road. She agreed and tagged along.
When the two reached outside the neighbourhood, Qureshi who works in a garment factory hailed an autorickshaw and took the girl to a room in Malad (W). The girl asked him why he was taking her so far from home, and pleaded that she wanted to go back, she told the police. But Qureshi threatened her, and then locked her up in the room.
When the girl’s parents realised she was missing, they approached the police to register a kidnapping complaint on Thursday morning. They named Qureshi as the accused because the locals told them they had last seen the girl with him, and he had also not been spotted in the locality since she went missing.
The Malwani police registered the case and began a hunt for accused. The crime branch officers who were carrying out parallel investigations tried tracking Qureshi’s mobile number but his phone was switched off. “Through our informers, we learnt that Qureshi had a spare a room in Kanchpada in Malad (W). We traced his location and were able to rescue the girl and nab Qureshi,” said SPI Raghunath Delvi from Crime Branch (Unit XI).
Qureshi was handed over to the Malwani police. “We have sent the girl for medical examination as we suspect she might have been raped, though the accused has denied it,” said a police officer from Malwani police station.