A day after the alleged molestation of two NRI girls came to light, the city police on Thursday announced a cash reward for providing information about the suspects and also said that they were close to nabbing one of them.
"A woman has come forward with information of the suspect wearing white shirt saying he stays in a western suburb. Our teams in plain clothes are keeping a close watch and we hope to get him soon," Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) KL Prasad said in Mumbai.
The police on Thursday released the photographs of the incident clicked by two lensmen from a national daily outside a five-star hotel in the city which suggest that the two women who were accompanied by male companions were molested.
Prasad said the woman came forward after seeing the photographs in the media and added that he would recommend a "five-digit" cash reward for those coming up with leads.
"Once we get one person, it will be easier to go till the rest four or five," he said.
Accompanied by two males, the two women had gone to the hotel for a new year performance by actress Bipasha Basu. The incident occurred at around 0150 hours on January 1, when they came out of the hotel. The photographs were published in a daily yesterday leading to a furore.
The victims are natives of Gujarat residing in USA's California and have refused to file a complaint due to which a photographer who is witness to incident has filed a case.
Prasad said Additional Commissioner of Police (West Region) Archana Tyagi is supervising the probe and special teams have been formed to crack the case at the earliest.
He said it would have been helpful for the case had the victims come forward. "They have told us not to disturb them about the case again and again. They are in Gujarat right now and we also appealed them to come to Mumbai and speak to the media," he said.
Prasad also clarified that the act lasted not more than three minutes and was preceded by a verbal argument between the accused persons and the victims. "Ideally nobody should have ventured out of the hotel on foot in that way but these people come from a different culture due to which they did and the incident occurred," a senior police officer said.
Meanwhile, Prasad also said that the police are on the lookout for a man wearing red shirt seen in the pictures helping the women from being groped and molested. "The man can be a helpful witness for us and can throw more light on the incident," he said.
Apart from that, the investigators are questioning many people for leads in the case, Prasad said, adding that there have not been any detentions of suspects as reported in the media.
The incident has led to a large public outcry across urban centres raising questions over the safety of women in the metropolis.