In an unusual case, Mumbai Police has arrested a 37-year-old man for ringing doorbells at residential buildings in the eastern suburbs of the city during the wee hours of the day, and then fleeing the spot. Police said his intention was to disturb people while they were asleep, and that after his arrest, four more residents of Kanjurmarg have stepped forward with similar complaints.
The accused, identified as Prem Lalsingh Nepali, confessed to troubling several residents of Kanjurmarg and claimed he did so under the influence of alcohol.
Police sources said he was arrested after a recent incident on Sunday, when he rang the doorbell of a jeweller. Rakesh Mehta, the complainant, resides on the first floor of Om Shree Akashdeep co-operative society in Kanjurmarg.
The police said the accused entered the building at about 2 am on Sunday. “He then rang their doorbell and then tried to flee, but was caught by other residents of the building. When the complainant confronted him, the accused started abusing them, following which they dialed 100 and informed the police control room,” said an officer from Kanjurmarg police station.
A patrolling van was sent to the spot, following which Nepali was brought to the police station for questioning.
Based on Mehta’s statement, the Kanjurmarg police registered a case under sections 448 (punishment for house-trespass), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
“We arrested him and during the investigation, we learned that there was another complaint that was lodged in September 2018. As a warning, we had registered a non-cognizable offence against him, but this time as the complainant and other residents were reluctant to drop the matter, a case was registered,” said a police officer.
When police went to the spot to inspect the locality, more people came forward and alleged that the accused had rung the doorbell of their house on multiple occasions.
“As it is a small issue, people did not come forward and lodge a police complaint. Now, we have four witnesses against him,” added the officer.
The police sent Nepali for a medical examination and reports confirmed he was under the influence of alcohol.
“We also needed to examine if he was under the influence of drugs, but his medical report suggested that he was only under the influence of alcohol,” said the officer.
Police said Nepali is a resident of Chembur, where he stays with his uncle and a friend from Nepal. He works as a waiter at a hotel in the same area. The police said they haven’t been able to interrogate him properly as he is not fluent in Hindi.
Senior Inspector Sharad Ovhal of Kanjurmarg police station said, “We are trying to get more witnesses in the case as we have learned that he rang the doorbell of many residents and fled.”
Nepali was produced in a court on Sunday and was remanded to judicial custody.