The Worli police have arrested a 62-year-old man for allegedly molesting a 17-year-old college girl in a taxi near the Worli sea face on Tuesday.
An alert journalist, witnessing the incident, helped the girl and chased the accused senior citizen in a cab for nearly 5km, before finally taking him to the police.
The arrested accused, Vasudev Bagayetkar, is a resident of Prabhadevi, while the teenager lives in Dadar (West). The teenager was known to the accused, as his brother lives in her neighbourhood.
According to the police, on Tuesday morning, the girl, who is a Class 11 science student, was on her way to tuitions. Bagayetkar stopped her and offered to drop her by cab.
But instead of taking her to her destination, he started to head to Worli sea face.
The police said the accused allegedly touched the girl inappropriately and kissed her in the cab.
When the girl raised an alarm, Anup Jogadia, 25, a journalist with a city-based newspaper, who happened to be on the spot, rushed to help her. “The girl somehow managed to step out of the cab. Bagayetkar, seeing Jogadia coming after him, fled the spot,” said an officer from Worli police station.
Jogadia and his friend Santosh Dhumal followed Bagayetkar. After a 4-5 km chase, they managed to stop the taxi at Agar Bazaar in Dadar (West). Bagayetkar was then taken to the police, where he first claimed that he is the girl’s uncle, but his lies were caught after the girl’s parents were called.
Police sources said the accused had allegedly threatened the girl not to resist him or else he would tell her parents about her ‘close’ friendship with a boy.
The Dadar police registered a zero FIR on the complaint of Jogadia and transferred it to the Worli police station.
Senior inspector of Worli police station Vinay Kulkarni said, “Bagayetkar has been arrested under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for molesting a minor girl. He will be produced in court on Wednesday.”