About 15 years ago, Sunil Rastogi, who is accused of being a serial rapist of minor girls, was fired from a tailoring shop in New Ashok Nagar despite being “efficient” at his work.
He stole a piece of cloth out of which he was supposed to stitch a pair of trousers for a man. Rastogi had barely worked for six months when the incident took place.
“He told me he will never steal again and begged for forgiveness. But I had made up my mind. I could never trust him from then on. He left and I never saw him again. But I could have never imagined that he would turn out to be a rapist,” said Devender Singh, the owner of the shop — SS Tailors and Drapers — that stitches men’s clothes.
Singh, who remembers Rastogi as one of his best tailors, said that the latter was short-tempered and misbehaved with colleagues. He often got frustrated with other tailors over trivial issues and argued with them.
“Whenever Sunil got angry, he would fight with other staff members. That used to create nuisance. This and the fact that he had stolen from my shop gave me enough reasons to sack him,” said Singh.
Rastogi had been hired because of his efficiency and the speed at which he worked. Rastogi singlehandedly stitched at least five pairs of trousers every day. He was faster than the other tailors working in the shop. At first, this impressed Singh so he decided to keep him for a longer time.
“Sunil’s father had come to my shop and asked me to give a job to his son. Back then, my shop was very small and we did only tailoring. I was in need of young men who could stitch clothes for men. So I hired Sunil since he was already trained in tailoring. He seemed like a good fellow, until I caught him stealing and misbehaving with other tailors,” said Singh.
Prior to being sacked, Rastogi was punctual and came to work daily. He came to the shop every day at 8 am. He worked with a tailoring machine for over nine hours and left for home at 10.30 pm.
Rastogi and his parents stayed at New Ashok Nagar for a brief period. He got married while he was working in the shop. Singh recalls that Rastogi never ate from outside. He always brought a tiffin from home which he would open during lunch breaks in the shop.