How cops nailed paedophile who terrorised Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane
As news trickled in of the serial child rapist's arrest from Mira Road yesterday, parents of survivors heaved a sigh of relief, but said nothing less than the death penalty would be justice for their kids
The paedophile who was on the loose for two years, and raped and abused 16 children across three cities, was finally arrested yesterday from Mira Road. The arrest comes on the heels of a series of reports by mid-day, highlighting the frustration of the survivors and their parents with the slow pace of investigation since 2016.
The serial child rapist, identified as Rehan Ansari, 27, had preyed on a dozen children by June, when the police finally got hold of his CCTV images and realised that the same man was behind all the crimes ('Have you seen this man?', mid-day, June 28). This paper reported last week, however, that the cops were having trouble investigating the cases because the Navi Mumbai police had not bothered to gather basic evidence like the survivors' clothes, which could have provided valuable DNA evidence. Yesterday, mid-day also highlighted the anger of the survivors and their parents over the shoddy investigation.
The hunt begins
Following this sustained coverage, police teams from the Navi Mumbai, Thane and Palghar commissionerates launched a massive manhunt for the suspect. The police finally arrested him from Sheetal Nagar, Mira Road, on Wednesday afternoon.
Ansari first appeared on the police's radar in June, after the cops compared CCTV images captured from eight to nine crime scenes and realised it was the same perpetrator. After gathering details from various cases, the police found that Ansari would take local transport, following which the cops distributed over 9,000 pamphlets with his photographs, and also alerted auto drivers operating close to the railway stations.
The police also announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for information about the suspect. Meanwhile, a separate team was formed to work on the technical surveillance to identify the accused from the CCTV footage and cell phone towers.
Cops have had this CCTV images of the suspect since June, but finally managed to catch him yesterday
How they tracked him
Navi Mumbai police sources revealed that the investigating team zeroed in on the mobile towers close to the crime scenes, and gathered all the dump data of cell phone numbers in the vicinity on the day of the offences. After browsing through thousands of call records over seven months, the cops zeroed in on the cell phone number of the accused and finally tracked him down at Mira Road.
A team from the Navi Mumbai Crime Branch arrested Ansari from a paan-bidi shop in Sheetal Nagar. He was taken to Tulinj police station, and then to Navi Mumbai. Navi Mumbai DCP (crime branch) Tushar Doshi confirmed that they had picked up a suspect, but refused to divulge the details.
Will beat him black and blue, say parents
Father of 7-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl,
assaulted in Oct 2017
'For one-and-a-half years, my family has been in hell. Because of this pervert, both my kids lost their innocence. If law permits, I will kill this man. He doesn't deserve to live at all'
Father of 13-yr-old girl,
assaulted in August 2017
'I can't believe what a heinous thing he did to my beautiful child. He snatched her childhood. I want to distribute sweets while shouting to the world that the pervert has been arrested. Now I just want the police to prepare a water-tight case and ensure that he is hanged to death'
Father of 14-yr-old girl,
assaulted in August 2017
'Let me meet him once, I will beat him black and blue. He thought he could get away with doing such things. I have seen my child suffer day and night. He must die for his actions, only that will be justice for all the girls'
Father of 9-year-old,
assaulted on April 2017
'It has been one-and-a-half years since he tortured my child. He doesn't deserve anything less than death. He made all the parents across Navi Mumbai, Thane and Nalasopara scared of even sending their kids to school'.
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