Mahim abduction case: 'Drunk Samaritan' says he gave child juice, chips
28-year-old man booked for taking away homeless six-year-old from Mahim on a joyride and dropping her off at Bandra
A week after 28-year-old Bandra resident Nitin Narkar decided to comfort a crying six-year-old he had spotted on a footpath by treating her to a bike ride and food, the Mahim police came knocking on his door on Wednesday, charging him with kidnapping the child. A baffled Narkar was arrested and released on a bail bond of Rs 15,000 on Thursday.
"While we were tracing the route of the rider, we came upon CCTV footage in which the number plate of the scooty was clearly seen. Through this, we found that the person whom it belonged to lives in Bandra West. When the police team reached the address, they found Narkar, who confessed to taking the girl for a ride on his scooty, but could not understand what offence he had committed," another officer said.
"He was unable to completely recall the May 1 incident. He only remembered bits and pieces. He told us that on April 30, he had gone for a party with friends and had got heavily drunk. He was afraid to go home in that state and decided to stay out. He had come to the Mahim phatak and sat at a bus stop where he spotted the girl about 20 to 30 feet away," an officer said.
The area where the girl's family lives in Mahim
The girl's family, who are basket weavers and live on the footpath at Mahim, had reported her missing after seeing her riding away on the back seat of Narkar's scooty around 3 am on May 1. After looking through CCTV footage, the Mahim police managed to spot the scooty with the girl sitting behind Narkar going towards Dadar. The cops raced to the spot but were unable to find the girl despite searching for more than 12 hours. However, a good 16 hours later, around 8.45 pm, the girl was found near the Mahim dargah,. A thorough medical examination of the girl did not reveal any assault or sexual activity, but the cops nevertheless wanted to find out who the rider was.
"We traced the route of the scooterist and found that he had left Mahim phatak then took a right turn at Saraswati Mandir School at Senapati Bapat Marg," an officer privy to the investigation said. "From there, he went to Dadar and took a U-turn from Kirti College. He then went to Bandra via Reclamation and left the girl near Lucky Restaurant in Bandra West. Before dropping off the girl, he gave her fruit juice, a packet of chips and R60," the officer added.
Around 10.30 the same day, a woman who spotted the girl crying near the restaurant, thought she must be one of the beggars from the Mahim dargah area and took her there. The girl roamed around the dargah till 8.45pm, before an alert citizen spotted her and informed the cops. The police then took her to Bhabha Hospital, Bandra for a check-up.
Not a crime, says Narkar
Narkar, who works as a waiter on a cruise ship, was home on a three-month holiday. On the night of April 30, after he had got drunk, and fearing an outburst by parents, he decided to stay out until he got sober. "While I was sitting at the bus stop at Mahim, I saw this girl crying. I went up to her and told her to hop on to my scooter and took her for a joyride. We rode from Mahim to Bandra. I even gave her some food. Is that a crime?" Narkar asked the cops during primary investigation. "There was no other intention other than feeding a crying child and making her happy with a joyride. That is not a crime," Nitin said.
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