In a major turnaround, the Bangalore Police have announced that Mustafa, the skating instructor they had arrested for the rape of a six-year-old schoolgirl, is innocent.
Activists hold placards during a rally organised by "The Red Brigade - Bring Bangalore Back" to protest against the recent incidents of sexual abuse, molestation and rapes against women in Bangalore. (AFP photo)
The police have instead found “circumstantial evidence” against two gym instructors of the school and arrested them. They have been identified as Lal Giri, 21, and Vaseem Pasha, 22.
However, another case was registered against Mustafa late Monday evening for alleged sexual assault on a student at a school where he worked previously.
Addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Tuesday, police commissioner MN Reddi said Mustafa had been a given a “clean chit” in the case involving the six-year-old.
He said the rape occurred on July 3 and not July 2 as believed earlier. “Mustafa was not around at the crime scene on July 3,” he said.
Reddi declined to comment on the claims made during the July 20 press conference called by the previous police commissioner, Raghavendra Auradkar, to announce Mustafa’s arrest.
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In that press conference, Auradkar had said child pornography was found on Mustafa's laptop and even suggested that he might be part of an international child porn racket.
A senior police officer who vehemently made such claims during Mustafa’s arrest chose not to speak on record when confronted with the new revelations in the case.
“I still maintain that Mustafa is a pervert. There is still the other case against him from the previous school,” the officer who did not want to be named told HT.
Punching more holes in the investigation conducted under the supervision of his predecessor, Reddi said the child was not raped in a closed room as claimed earlier.
Relatives of Mustafa, meanwhile, were furious and jubilant in equal measure. His wife, Ayesha, told HT, “Allah has listened to our prayers and given us a beautiful blessing on Eid.”
She, however, said that irreparable damage had been done to her husband’s reputation.
Asked about the other case registered against Mustafa, she said, “The police are claiming that he was dismissed from the previous school for misbehaving with children. But I know that he quit the previous job because his salary was very low. After what has happened, what credibility does the police have now?”
Blaming the media for blindly believing the police, another relative of Mustafa said, "One TV reporter came to our house on the night of the arrest posing as a policeman and took away a photograph of Mustafa. Less than an hour later, the TV channel started flashing the photograph. Next morning, most newspapers and channels carried the photograph.”