When their 14-year-old daughter didn’t return two hours after leaving for the local temple on Monday evening, Vakola residents Mahesh and Suhasini Mane (names changed) got worried. Relatives and locals started a search operation. Half an hour later, a family member of the mentally challenged girl, found her along with 26-year-old Dilip Patil — who lived in the neighbourhood — at an empty house.
Caught in the act
The accused was allegedly half naked, was forcing the girl to remove her clothes and was molesting her. When spotted, Patil started to run. He was chased down, given a sound thrashing by locals and then handed over to Vakola police. The victim stays with her family at Dutta Mandir road in Vakola. According to sub-inspector Kisan Shirsat of Vakola police station, “The girl told her family members she was going to the temple to offer prayers. The relatives asked her to return soon, as she was to accompany her mother to the market.”
Saved on time
Police said when the girl was on her way back from the temple, she was lured by the accused with a chocolate. As the victim cannot speak or hear, Patil allegedly managed to forcibly take her to a vacant house in the neighbourhood. Police said the victim was saved in the nick of time. The accused has been charged for kidnapping and molestation. He was produced in Bandra court and later sent to judicial custody.
The victim’s family says it is disappointed with the action so far as Patil was allegedly attempting to rape the victim.
Serial child molester held
MiD DAY had reported on May 1 (‘BMC contract cleaner turns out to be serial child molester’), about how a 25-year-old man was held by locals and then arrested by Vakola police on April 29 after he was found trying to molest an eight-year-old girl in Kalina. The accused was later released on bail. Cops said that till now eight minor girls have come forward and identified the accused. They expect more girls to do the same in the coming days.