A 50-YEAR-OLD man who operated a rickshaw service to drop children at schools was arrested by Mumbai Police on Saturday for allegedly sodomising an 11-year-old boy . The police are checking if the accused had sexually assaulted any other students. The accused, who has been ferrying children for the past one decade, is now in police custody.
According to a complaint filed by the 11-year-old boy’s family, the accused had been taking the boy to school for the past six years. From November 4, the schools were shut for Diwali. “On November 11, the accused called up the boy’s father and asked him to hand over the phone to the boy. He then invited the child to his house to have some Diwali snacks. The accused stayed in the same area as the boy and his sister dropped him off at the accused person’s house,” an officer linked to the case said.
The child found the accused and his mother in the house. After giving him snacks, the accused asked the child to accompany him to the mezzanine floor. “The man sodomised him there and told him not to tell anyone about the incident before allowing him to go home,” an officer said. By then, the boy’s mother had started looking for him as he had left home around 5 pm and did not return till 6.30 pm. The woman found the boy crying near their house, an officer said.
When she asked why he was crying, the child said the auto driver was a bad person and had behaved inappropriately with him. The woman then contacted her husband and they reached the house of the accused and confronted him. “But there, the auto driver’s son and his mother started shouting at the boy’s parents and threatened them. The auto driver also told them that their son was lying. The parents were intimidated and they went home,” an officer added.
The next day, the child’s parents decided to approach the police. A case was registered under Section 377 (unnatural offences) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The senior inspector of Bhandup police station, Ramesh Khade, said: “We have arrested the accused following the complaint and he is in police custody. We are interrogating him to find out if he has assaulted anyone else apart from this boy. So far, no new complainants have come forth.”