In a new twist to probe into the alleged rape of a minor girl in Bhandup, the local police that took over the probe on Thursday said they would be releasing the two suspects arrested by the Kurla Railway Police while raised doubts over the claims made by the complainant and victim.
On Wednesday, Bhandup resident Kshama Bhatkar (46) had lodged a complaint with the Kurla GRP, alleging that a minor girl, who has been on the Bhandup Railway Station premises with her parents and elder sister for the past few days, had been taken to a construction site near the station by some workers and raped.
The Kurla GRP later arrested two suspects and transferred the probe to the Bhandup police on Friday since the crime technically occurred in their jurisdiction.
However, on Friday, inspector Arun Inarkar of Bhandup police station said, “We inspected the under-construction building where the victim was allegedly raped in the afternoon. It is next to impossible to rape someone in such a crowded area. We are going to release the suspects soon.”
While Bhatkar had claimed the victim was nine years old, the Bhandup police have recorded her age as 12 years. Senior police inspector Shivaji Dhumal of Kurla GRP said, “We had registered the case after Bhatkar approached us and arrested the duo for rape under the Indian Penal Code. A third suspect is still wanted in the case.”
Inrakar said the issue was hyped up by Bhatkar and the NGO she had approached. “We are expecting the medical report of the victim from Rajawadi hospital, after which we will send the victim to Nagpada Police hospital for re-examination.”
Bhatkar, in her complaint, had claimed the victim was repeatedly raped. “The victim was in severe pain when I noticed her at the Bhandup Railway Station. I asked her what was wrong and she told me she was raped for three consecutive days by the two suspects, while the third kept a watch at the under-construction building,” she said.
The girl and her family, who hail from Ratnagiri, came to Mumbai earlier this month for some treatment that the victim’s mother had to undergo. As their relatives in Mumbai refused to accommodate them, they had to stay on the station. Her father has been earning money by working as a daily wage labourer since then, Bhatkar said.