Mumbai: Paedophile who raped kids remorseless, family devastated

Updated: 28 October, 2018 08:03 IST | Samiullah Khan and Anamika Gharat | Mumbai

Rehan Qureshi's family and Mira Road colony where he lived unable to come to terms that the alleged serial rapist lived in their midst

The accused, Rehan Qureshi, being escorted to the Special POCSO court in Thane on Thursday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
The accused, Rehan Qureshi, being escorted to the Special POCSO court in Thane on Thursday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Horror. That is what every single resident of Mira Road's Woodland Complex felt when the news broke that their neighbour, Rehan Qureshi, had been arrested for raping and molesting 16 children since 2016.

A woman living in the Sheetal Nagar society said, "My 10-year-old daughter used to play without fear in our society. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that such a monster was living next door. I am truly scared now." Rehan was arrested on Wednesday, just minutes away from the colony, while he was smoking outside Shahi restaurant. mid-day visited his home at Mira Road, where he and his family had moved only a couple of months ago.

Rehan Qureshi and his family moved to Woodland society at Mira Road a couple of months ago. Pics/Hanif Patel
Rehan Qureshi and his family moved to Woodland society at Mira Road a couple of months ago. Pics/Hanif Patel

'Never smiled'
The 34-year-old had terrorised parents across Thane, Navi Mumbai and Palghar over the last two years, and all three police commissionerates were searching for him. But when this reporter asked residents whether they had read or heard anything about the case, they denied it.

"The family had come to live here recently, they didn't speak much to others," said Bahadur, the security guard of building B4, where the Qureshis have rented an apartment. "I have seen that guy go in and out of the building, but he never spoke to anyone, and never even smiled at anybody," he added. Another resident said, "I had seen him a couple of times, I never imagined he was such an animal."

He was arrested while he was smoking outside Shahi Restaurant, Mira Road, on Wednesday
He was arrested while he was smoking outside Shahi Restaurant, Mira Road, on Wednesday

Kharghar neighbours recall
Before moving to Mire Road, the accused used to live at Manjiri complex in Kharghar, where residents remember him as a silent person and the family, weird. His former neighbour from Kharghar, Noor Shaikh, recalled, "We would see him when he left for his job and returned home. His mother was really nice, and we would talk to her often. She was worried about the marriage of her two sons, including Rehan. His elder brother got married last year. We didn't know much about Rehan, but we found the brothers weird, so we stayed away from them."

Rehan Qureshi
Rehan Qureshi

The watchman said, " I would see him so often, but he would never talk. Sometimes he would go for walks alone; he didn't have any friends here. He never participated in any society functions. He was very silent. I have never even seen him smiling."

Family shattered
No one is more shocked by Rehan's arrest than his family. "I don't know what my brother has done, I don't even know if there is any truth to it. All we know is he has been arrested. A team of cops had come with him early in the morning to search the house. My mother has not been keeping well for some time, and this incident has shocked her," said the accused's elder brother, Irshad Qureshi, adding that their mother had been inconsolable since the arrest.

Also Read: Mumbai: Paedophile Targeted Children On Thursdays, At 2-Month Intervals

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First Published: 28 September, 2018 17:20 IST

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