An eleven-year-old Class VII student on her way back home after playing garba was raped and sodomized for 30 minutes by tempo driver Siraj Khan inside his vehicle in Sakinaka, Mumbai on Wednesday night, the Mumbai Mirror reports.
The girl was walking home with another boy aged 11 after attending a garba event near their homes, when the accused who was following the children accosted them at Jari Mari, a deserted spot. Khan attacked the boy who got frightened and fled. Then he took the girl towards a tempo parked nearby, opened the tempo’s shutter and pushed the victim inside. After raping and sodomizing the girl, Khan released her around 10.30 pm, after threatening her of dire consequences if she spoke about the incident to anyone.
The girl went home and narrated her ordeal to her mother who took her to the Sakinaka police station. In her police statement, the child said she told her mother about the crime when asked to explain the delay in reaching home. “I was terrified but somehow managed to walk through the deserted lane to reach home. The man threatened me and clicked my photos and my friend’s too on his phone. He then slapped my friend and asked him to leave. He threatened me and told me to remain quiet before raping me. The entire stretch was deserted and there was no one around to help me.”
The child was since hospitalized. She has been discharged but is in shock. The accused, Siraj Khan,30, is a tempo driver and hails from Uttar Pradesh but has been living in Mumbai for past few years.
Based on the complaint, a polcice team was formed which managed to arrest the accused Siraj Khan from his Sakinaka residence within 24 hours of the crime. He was booked under Section 377 of the IPC and the POCSO Act, the police said.
“The victim and her friend helped us prepare his sketch that helped us to get a lead from informers about his whereabouts. Meanwhile, the accused tried to change his hairstyle to evade arrest but we managed to nab him. He had deleted the girl’s photo from his phone but we retrieved it with the help of the forensic lab,” said a police official.
Police have also seized the tempo in which the crime took place, and collected semen and blood spots from the tempo which will be vital evidence later in the court.
Interestingly, while local tabloid Mumbai Mirror has reported the name of the accused Siraj Khan, its sister publication, the national daily Times of India’s report does not mention the accused’s name. DNA has reported his name as Siraj Mehendi Hasan Khan (30).
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