Cops hunt for victims of ‘serial child molester’

Visit 20 schools with photo of the man who would offer lift to little school girls in his car and molest them

Written by Megha Sood | Mumbai | Published: July 31, 2013 2:13:54 am

The Mumbai police have initiated a unique exercise to build a watertight case against a 40-year-old alleged habitual child molester who has been arrested and booked under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

After his arrest on July 26 for molesting a 14-year-old girl,the Samta Nagar Police have taken the photograph of Nishat Agarwal to 20 schools in Kandivali and Malad to search for more victims.

Agarwal,who drives a Maruti Zen,had offered a lift to a 14-year-old school girl from Kandivali and allegedly molested her in his car. After seeing his photograph circulated in her school at Malad,another minor from Goregaon approached the police Sunday and narrated a similar incident,strengthening police’s belief that there could be more victims.

Interestingly,in both the cases,he targeted the children early morning and would leave home telling his family that he was going out for a jog.

In her statement to the police,the second victim said she was molested six months ago,after Agarwal “uncle” offered her a lift between Goregaon and Malad.

Agarwal,a businessman,owns three commercial properties in South Mumbai and is father of a 10-year-old boy.

His first victim approached the Samta Nagar police on July 25 and spoke of a man who offered her lift around 7 am on July 24. He picked the girl and instead of dropping her to the school,he drove the car towards the highway and parked it behind a stationary truck to avoid attention,said a policeman at Samta Nagar Police Station.

In her statement,the girl said the man pulled down her uniform and clicked pictures on his mobile phone. He threatened her to remain silent or he would upload the pictures on a social media website. He molested the terrified girl and later pushed her out of the car and sped away,said police.

The girl’s parents registered a complaint after she returned home and narrated the horrid details. “We realised the man might have committed such crimes before. We asked the night officers to stay back and keep a watch in the area early morning,” said police inspector L G Shinde of Samta Nagar police station. “She remembered the last four numeric digits of the car’s number plate too,” he added.

Ten police personnel accordingly laid a trap around intersecting roads near schools. Separate teams were deployed and police personnel followed every schoolgirl who was spotted walking alone.

On July 26,policemen spotted a Maruti Zen slowing and approaching a schoolgirl. “The driver stopped the car and started speaking to the girl when we nabbed him. We grabbed the driver,but the schoolgirl panicked and ran away before we could stop her and enquire about the conversation,” said Shinde.

The police have now sent Agarwal’s phone and his computer from his Malad residence to cyber forensic experts. “We have alerted schools to spread awareness about such sexual offenders,” added Shinde.

In his confession,Agarwal reportedly disclosed he had memorised uniforms of all schools. “He would stop his car and ask the girls if they were from a particular school after seeing their uniform. He would then act as if he is driving to the same school,” said a police officer.

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