Mumbai: Kin of raped kids want special squad to track down crazed paedophile
Since 2016, the unidentified paedophile has raped or abused at least 15 children across Thane, Navi Mumbai and, more recently, Nalasopara
"I can't believe cops from three different cities are unable to catch the child rapist who has preyed on so many children," said the mother of a 10-year-old who was assaulted by the pervert in Kharghar in 2017. "My daughter still gets scared whenever any stranger looks at her. She keeps asking if the cops have caught him." The pervert has preyed on more than a dozen children over the last two years, but cops are no closer to finding him.
Since 2016, the unidentified paedophile has raped or abused at least 15 children across Thane, Navi Mumbai and, more recently, Nalasopara. The police in all three cities (Palghar commissionerate in the case of Nalasopara) are searching for the pervert, but are yet to make any headway. Parents of survivors have urged for the formation of a special squad from all three commissionerates to find and arrest the rapist.
This man has preyed on at least 15 children across Thane, Navi Mumbai and Nalasopara
mid-day had reported yesterday that when the first few cases broke in 2016, the Navi Mumbai police had not even bothered to collect basic evidence like the survivors' clothes, from which they could have taken DNA samples. This paper had also reported on June 28 ('Have you seen this man?') that it was only after the cops got their hands on CCTV images that they realised it was the same man that had preyed on more than a dozen children.
'Please try harder'
The shoddy investigation has angered parents of the survivors, some of whom have been waiting for justice for two years. "After the rapist attacked my daughter, I kept following up with the police, but would always get the same answer: that the accused had not left any evidence," said the father of a 13-year-old girl who was attacked in Koparkhairane in August 2017.
She had gone grocery shopping around 8 pm, when the accused told her that her father needed her help. She followed him to an under-construction building, where he asked her to remove her clothes, claiming there was an insect inside. The girl got scared, and he closed her eyes and mouth, and then raped her.
She still gets nightmares about the incident, said her father. "I still get goosebumps when I hear of any rape case. We came to know that so many other kids were raped by him. How have the police not found him in two years?" he questioned, adding, "I have three daughters, and my wife and I watch them every hour of the day. I don't send them out for groceries or anything else; my wife, son or I go out if we need anything at home. I beg all police officers to please work harder to arrest the accused."
Lives changed forever
Other families narrated how their lives were forever changed after their children were abused by the sexual predator. "On October 9, 2017, my 7-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter were playing in a garden near our house. This devil came and told them that I was calling them for help to carry gas cylinders. He took my kids near the railway tracks at Koparkhairane and raped them," said an angry father.
"The incident changed our lives completely. I have sent my entire family to our native village; I don't feel like they are safe here. My son has recovered, but my daughter wakes up in the night, sometimes she wets the bed. I don't know when she will get better, nor do I know when the cops will catch the accused," he added.
Parents have lost nearly all hope of justice. "I am sure that god doesn't exist. That man has ruined my daughter's life and is doing same with other girls. We have thousands of cops, but they cannot arrest one man," said the father of a 14-year-old survivor. "We are trying to support our daughter. She deserves to be happy, but she is not. The problems of girls are the same whether they are in Kathua or in big cities like Mumbai and Navi Mumbai," he added.
The father of another survivor — a 9-year-old girl from Kharghar — said, "My daughter is not the same now. Whenever she passes by the road where she was abused by that pervert, she cries. The incident with my daughter happened in April 2017; it's been one-and-a-half years, how come he hasn't been arrested yet? I read that he targeted two more kids in Nalasopara. When this will end?"
Top cop says
DD Padsalgikar, Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP), has ordered all senior officers to work together to nab the accused. Three different teams are working to track the accused. "Special coordinated efforts are being made to nab the culprit," said the DGP.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe