The Juhu police station has been on a wild goose chase over the last month. Trying to trace the prime accused in the New Year’s Eve molestation case near JW Marriott in Juhu, it sent its special teams on leads that turned out to be fake.
The image of the prime accused — dressed in a white shirt over a red T-shirt — was splashed across newspapers and television channels after HT photographers caught the molestation on camera.
The police was also mislead by those who wanted to settle personal scores and provided fake information.
Shivaji Tadlapurkar of the Juhu police station said that around mid-January, an anonymous caller from Bangalore claimed to have seen the molester, provided his name and said he worked in a north Bangalore post office.
“The person turned out to be a Grade I (Indian Postal Service) officer who had no connection with the incident,” said Tadlapurkar. “The police cut a very sorry figure for the goof-up.”
“Our teams visited several places across the country but were unsuccessful since the information was incorrect and, in some cases, fake.”
The month’s experience has, however, made the police more wary and they are now verifying the authenticity of all the information that they are receiving. They are also preparing to submit the chargesheet after the mandatory 90 days of investigation.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) KL Prasad, however, claimed that the identity and address of the molester has been established, but will not be disclosed.
“He is not from Mumbai but a village in another state. Our teams went to his village and other places that he visited. We are yet to lay our hands on him, but his chances of escape now are almost nil,” Prasad said.