There have been at least six incidents of molestation in seven months at Nehru Nagar, where three minor girls have been raped and killed in four months.
The probe into the killings that have paralysed life in the lower middle class area revealed that these cases were never reported to the police.
The police said they stumbled upon this fact last week during an interaction with representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the neighbourhood.
At least 14 NGOs have been working to improve living conditions in the slums of Nehru Nagar, Kurla and Chunabhatti.
The NGOs discovered these cases during a door-to-door survey in the area following the third murder, which came to light on June 19 when the decomposed body of an eight-year-old girl was found in a locked hutment at Vatsalatai Nagar.
The victims were minors in most cases.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Rajnish Seth said the incidents might have gone unreported because of social factors.
“The parents and victims were scared of their perceived social fear and shied away from reporting the matter to the police,” Seth said.
“The apprehension is borne out of ignorance and lack of knowledge about the law.”
The police have now planned a campaign to sensitise people about its efforts to help
women and children facing violence.
The Mumbai police had launched a toll free helpline, 103, following the New Year’s Eve molestation case outside a plush Juhu hotel in 2008.
“The helpline is widely publicised across the city and this reflects in the response we have been getting,” Seth told Hindustan Times.
“Every household has at least one telephone and any victim can inform us at any time and action is assured.”
The police have decided to take the help of NGOs working in the area to convince people living in slums to shun fear and report any violence against women and children.
The police commissioner has convened a meeting with representatives from NGOs on Monday to discuss how to achieve this.