THE CCTV footage of two men suspected to have raped a three-year-old girl that the Mumbai Police were relying to track them has turned out to be red herring.
Soon after the MIDC police registered an FIR on Friday and began investigations into the case, they found a CCTV footage in an area located near the spot from where the girl was taken by two men that even matched the time around which the girl had gone missing. The police began looking for the two men and tracked them down on Monday. But it turned out that the girl those men were carrying was not the victim and one of the men carrying her was her father while the other was the neighbour. The police have now began the probe in the case all over again.
The incident took place on Thursday when the three-year-old, who was playing outside her house in Andheri, was lured by two men promising her a chocolate. The duo allegedly raped her and fled from there. Later, one of the neighbours spotted the girl and informed her parents about it.
The girl was rushed to the hospital and the local MIDC police registered a case against unidentified persons.
An officer privy to the probe said the CCTV footage matched the area and the time around which the girl was abducted. We also asked the parents of the girl who said that it appeared to be their girl who was being carried by one of the men, said the officer, adding, the police team started making inquiries and tracked down the two persons hoping the case was solved.
“But to our shock the man told us that the girl he was carrying was his daughter. We went to his house and found that the girl indeed was his daughter. The other man walking along with him was his neighbour,” the officer said.
Another setback that the police have suffered is that the dress that the girl was wearing was in error thrown away at the hospital, on the first day.
“We went to look for the dress in the bins at the hospital but by then the cleaning van had cleared it. Normally there is some presence on the dress using which we can extract DNA of the accused person,” an officer said.
During probe, the police have rounded up several persons from the locality. “We take photographs of the suspects and show it to the girl on the phone to see if she identifies anyone. So far we have not met with any success,” an officer said. He added that some of the children who were present at the spot, and had seen the accused talk to the girl, are helping the police prepare a sketch.
“Tracking down the duo seen in the CCTV footage took some of our time and effort. However, we are hopeful of tracking down the accused soon,” the officer added. A case has been registered under the POCSO Act.