Upset over the rape of a 12-year-old girl by a tenant from their locality, residents of Maulana Baba Lane and nearby bylanes in Bandra (west) said they would now be more careful while renting their houses, especially to single men.
The rape accused, Tahir Ansari, was a tenant and lived alone.
Sher Ali Sandole, who has a house that he rents out in the area where the incident took place, said: “We have learnt a lesson. We will now verify every detail before renting our houses. We will also consider families, not single men.”
Locals are worried that Ansari may have sexually assaulted other girls in the area in the past, but the victims may have kept quiet to avoid social stigma. Parveen Zakir Ali, 45, a resident, said: “Ansari has been living in the area for the past two years. We have never seen him interact with others. He is a father himself, did he not feel guilty committing such a sin?”
The victim’s uncle said her mother is on her way to Mumbai from Bangalore. Asked if she would go back to Bangalore now, he said: “Her mother will decide what to do, if she allows me to look after her, I would be happy to do so.”
Members of the NGO, Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (Yuva), met the victim’s family on Monday. Pramila Sharma, Yuva’s senior community organiser, said: “We need to sensitise people so they stand up against such crimes.”