By Samiullah Khan: A 55-year-old real estate agent, who had been molesting two girls — a 7-year-old physically-challenged girl and her 13-year-old sister — for over two years was arrested yesterday by Mumbai crime branch unit-11.
After he was spotted by a neighbour leaving the victims’ home, he managed to escape, but the crime branch officials tracked him down at Saki Naka using his cellphone’s location. He was handed over to the Malwani police for further investigation.
Police sources said Shakil Ahmad Shaikh took advantage of the absence of the girl’s parents — who were at the hospital for their polio-affected eldest daughter’s treatment — entered their home in Malwani and molested them. Shaikh resides in the same locality. One of the neighbours saw him leaving the house and immediately questioned the younger sibling over it. After she revealed the horror that she and her sister had suffered over the last two years, the locals went to the Malwani police station and registered a complaint.
Senior inspector Chimaji Adav of crime branch unit-11 said, “After the neighbours raised an alarm, he escaped from Malwani. But, Assistant Police Inspector Sharad Zine, along with constables Desai and Chauhan, arrested him near the Durga Mandir in Saki Naka. After he was handed over to the Malwani police, they registered the case under sections 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with the intent to outrage her modesty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and the relevant sections of the POCSO Act.”
The locals claimed this is the not the first instance of Shaikh being caught for molestation. He had earlier targeted a mentally-challenged girl. At the time, neighbours beat him up and paraded him through the locality, but did not lodge an official complaint. The police said following that incident, his wife and children left him and moved back to their native place.
Crime branch officials said the 13-year-old girl has claimed that on several instances over the past two years, the accused lured her into his house with the offer of money and molested her.