"What is the use of arresting the accused now? I have already lost my daughter," said an inconsolable Ayaz Shaikh, father of 14-year-old Nadia (name changed).
Nadia Shaikh, who was dumped at a garden in a horrid physical state by her tormentor near her Malwani residence on October 13, exactly five months after she went missing on May 14, succumbed to medical complications yesterday at Nair Hospital, where she was being treated.
No more: Nadia Shaikh breathed her last at Nair Hospital yesterday, where she was undergoing treatment after her rescue
A visibly shattered Ayaz added, "Had the police upped their search and nabbed the accused in the five months during which my girl was held captive and abused, she would have been alive today."
Ironically, Nadia's tormentor, who is also a minor, was nabbed by the Malwani police on Saturday from his residence in Sector 44.
API Vaishali Ghorpade of Malwani police station said, "The accused is a school dropout and works as a salesman. During her statement to the police, Nadia had given us his mobile number using which we traced his location and nabbed him." Ghorpade added, "Nadia also revealed that she was well-acquainted with the accused and had even wanted to marry him. However, he took undue advantage of her, abducted and abused her for five months." During interrogation, the accused revealed that in captivity, Nadia's health deteriorated severely and he provided her with private medical help. However, after realising that he was fast running out of money, he dumped her at the garden on Oct 13.
Medical complications According to Mahesh Shah, assistant dean of Nair Hospital, "Nadia was operated on November 8. However, her system did not respond well to the treatment and the infection spread to her abdomen, causing her death. Her body has now been sent for an autopsy." Sources from the hospital have revealed that the doctors recovered stones, mud and pieces of cloth from Nadia's stomach during her operation. They further disclosed that her stomach had developed several holes as she consumed all these things to quell her hunger while she was being starved by her tormentor.
The accused has been booked under Sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping) and 344 (wrongful confinement for 10 or more days) of IPC and has been sent to the Dongri remand home.
After further interrogations the accused, more charges will be added, said the officer.
Investigation on track When MiD DAY spoke to SI Abdul Rauf Shaikh of Malwani police station, regarding allegations levelled against his officers by Nadia's father, he said, "I took charge of Malwani police station just two and a half months ago. As soon as the girl was recovered and the picture became clear, I hastened the investigation, worked on all available leads and arrested the accused." Mahesh Patil, DCP, Zone XII, said, "The girl's kin registered a missing persons complaint with the Malwani police after she went missing some five months ago. However, no major leads were available with us at that time. After the girl was found, acting on her statement, we nabbed her tormentor."