A 44-year-old doctor booked for rape escaped the police net in dramatic fashion when cops were escorting him to the Khar police station from his residence at Dadar Parsi Colony on Saturday.
The 26-year-old victim, a resident of Ghatkopar, has alleged Dr Rustom Sonawala raped her when she visited him for tuberculosis treatment at his clinic at Carter Road, Bandra (West), at 6pm on Friday.
In her complaint, she has stated the doctor asked her husband, who works as a tailor at a workshop in Lower Parel, to sit outside while he checked her in his cabin.
“The doctor raped me in the cabin. I was scared to tell my husband about it, but informed him when we reached home, after which we lodged a complaint at the Khar police station,” the victim said.”
A case was registered at around 9.30pm on Friday. A medical test to confirm rape was conducted on the victim, the result of which is awaited.
After completing formalities, an officer and a constable went to arrest the accused at his Dadar residence at around 10am on Saturday.
Sonawala requested that he reach the police station in his car along with two women from his family, who the police suspect are his sisters.
The officer agreed and sat in the car with them, while the constable followed them in a cab.
When the vehicle reached Dadar TT, Sonawala slowed the vehicle down, opened the door and pretended to get out, the police said.
“Assuming that he was trying to escape, my officer got off the car to catch him, but the moment he did, Sonawala turned on the central lock and fled,” said senior police inspector Mangesh Pote from the Khar police station.
The victim has alleged the police helped Sonawala flee, and took a bribe for it, which the police have denied. “The allegation of taking a bribe is false. We allowed him to travel in his car keeping his reputation as a doctor in mind. Our officer was sitting with him,” Pote said.
The police have now launched a manhunt to catch the accused. “He will be arrested soon, but we have to verify the claims of the victim too,” Pote said.
The women accompanying Sonawala are also untraceable, and two elderly women are the only other residents in his flat, police said, adding that they suspect the doctor is not married.
Additional commissioner of police Vishwas Nangre-Patil said, “We are conducting a probe into the incident.”