(By Sagar Rajput)
A 45-year-old man was arrested by Bandra police for allegedly molesting a four-year-old girl in a crowded park on Saturday. The girl is from a filmmaker’s family. The child, a frequent visitor to the park, was accompanied by her mother and her father’s personal assistant when the incident took place.
On Saturday around 7pm, the accused allegedly walked into a group of playing children and pulled out the four-year-old girl. “Suddenly, I heard some children raising the alarm and I ran to the spot,” said a caretaker of the park, Vinay Pandey. “The girl’s mother was not present at the spot as she was taking a walk.”
The personal assistant witnessed the incident and confronted the accused who claimed that he was innocent. “The accused claimed that he noticed the girl could not get on the swing in the park and he tried to help her,” Pandey said.
The accused was beaten up by local people and handed over to the Bandra police station.
The personal assistant of the filmmaker registered a case and the accused was later arrested. The accused, Mohommad Shaqeeb Shaikh, is a resident of Mahim. He was sent for a medical check-up that confirmed that he committed the crime under the influence of alcohol, investigators said.
The police said the accused was the handler of a merry-go-round outside the park. An officer from Bandra police station said: “Shaikh has been roaming the streets after his wife asked him to leave their house. He claims that he has been sleeping in Mahim dargah.”
He has been booked under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC, along with Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. He was produced in court and remanded in police custody.
Senior Police Inspector Pandit Thakre from Bandra police station confirmed the incident and said they were investigating the case. On Sunday, after the arrest, a fight broke out in the area. Pandey said: “Some people from Lal Meeti area in Bandra would often come to the park and harass female visitors. After the incident, the locals fought with them. I informed the police control room but the goons fled before the police arrived.”