“I had been treating the girls as patients for the past four years, but only in 2008 did I feel an evil desire and started raping them. I know I should not have done this, but there was nobody to stop me,” Jainul Abidin Shaikh (37) told the police after they arrested him for raping seven girls.
The tantrik, a native of West Bengal, came to Mumbai in 2002 along with his wife and two children. Since he knew Urdu, he began teaching it. In 2006, he was introduced by a common acquaintance to the mother of one of his eventual victims and asked to teach her daughters.
According to the JJ Marg police, the tantrik, a resident of Antop Hill, helped the mother solve a domestic problem and won her trust. She then introduced him to her sisters.
Shaikh said he only intended to cheat them, but when the women entrusted him with their daughters he decided to take advantage of them.
“He told the women he could treat their mentally challenged sons and stop the hereditary problem from extending to their daughters,” said police sub-inspector S Bagwe, of the JJ Marg police.
“We are finding out how much money he swindled from his victims,” said an officer on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
When asked whether the police would arrest the victims’ mothers since they knew their daughters were being raped, Bagwe said: “The mothers have no role in the rape. It was superstition that led them to the tantrik.”
However, deputy commissioner of police Cherring Dorje said: “We have not let the mothers off the hook yet.”