A 70-year-old cattle grazer from Deonar was arrested for allegedly trying to rape a seven-year-old girl at Nehru Nagar in Kurla on Thursday evening.
The police said that Gulam Qureshi, who was in the Kasaiwada area for some work, allegedly lured a seven-year-old girl with a chocolate to an isolated ground and tried to force himself on her. A local saw him and raised an alarm. A crowd soon gathered and thrashed Qureshi.
“Qureshi suffers from poor health. We had to give him first aid before interrogating him,” said an officer from Nehru Nagar police station, on condition of anonymity.
After Thursday’s incident, the police have stepped up patrolling at Nehru Nagar, where three girls had been found raped and murdered in separate incidents last year — on February 9, March 7 and June 19.
While the police had arrested a 19-year-old boy, who was working with a local cable operator, on July 2010, after his DNA matched with the sample found on the girl whose body was found on June 19, they are yet to make arrests in the other two cases.
“We have registered a case of attempt to rape and kidnapping against Qureshi,” said B Kadam, senior police inspector of the Nehru Nagar police station.
The police will now send Qureshi’s DNA sample to the Forensic Science Laboratory to check if it matches those of the other two girls.