In a shocking incident that once again puts a large question mark about Mumbai being a ‘safe city’ for women, the city police have rescued a 16-year-old girl after eight days of confinement during which she was repeatedly raped by three men — first in a flat in Malad and then in an apartment in Andheri.
The police have now arrested the main accused, 26-year-old Hetal Shah, who claims to be a friend of the girl, a pimp called Sunny and two women. The Dahisar-based victim, who had recently appeared for her board exams, was invited by Hetal for a birthday party, where she was raped by him and two other men.
But what has come as an even bigger shocker is the attitude of the police force. Speaking to SUNDAY MiD-DAY, the girl’s mother said, “The day my daughter went missing I went to the Dahisar police station but they refused to write down a complaint. When I went back the following day (on Saturday), they asked me to come back on Monday. Till yesterday, they didn’t do a thing.”
Two days ago the girl managed to call her mother and a constable spoke to her, but even then nothing was done to trace her thereafter.
Finally, a woman named Leena, who was also trapped in the prostitution racket at the Mhada flat, helped the girl escape to her uncle’s house in Kandivli, where she was given food, taken to a hospital and the police was informed. According to social worker Yadunath Prajapati, the girl was kept in a room with five other women.
Speaking to SUNDAY MiD DAY, the victim said, “I was not allowed to talk to anyone. My mobile phone was also taken away. I was deprived of food too.” When contacted, inspector Anant Rane of the Dahisar PS, said, “We have registered a case of kidnapping and rape. We are investigating the case. We never took the case lightly.”