It's summer time, but residents of Ambedkar Nagar slum in Cuffe Parade are afraid to let their children go out of the house.
After the body of two-year-old Angel Fernandes was found floating in the sea on April 19, the fear of a serial killer on the loose has gripped the area. This was the third such incident reported in the area in the past five months.
With schools shut for summer and children spending most of their time playing outside, parents are worried as the police are yet to make any breakthrough in the three cases.
"I have given strict instructions to both my sons to avoid talking to any stranger. Also they have been told not to wander away from the house while playing," said Ranjana Pawar, a housewife.
Pawar, who shifted to the slums few months ago, said they saw many new faces in the area as a majority of migrants were settled there. "I shifted here as my old house was being redeveloped. After coming here I was shocked to see that many locals were unemployed. Many people also openly use drugs here," she said.
The thickly populated slum cluster shares borders with the Cuffe Parade police station in the east and Back Bay reclamation to the south.
Pawar said the police should make profile of those with dubious and criminal backgrounds. "It would help them keep a tab on crime. It may also help put an end to attacks on minors in the area."
Residents said they feared a repeat of Kurla's Nehru Nagar incident where four young girls were raped and killed since 2010.
Pramila Shinde, a mother of two, said, "There were similar incidents in Nehru Nagar area a year ago. On several occasions we find many unknown faces in the neighbourhood. The police needs to take necessary steps to crack the cases and catch those who are involved in this."
The police, however, claim that they have been taking all possible steps to crack the three cases.
"The parents should take care that the children do not communicate with unknown persons. As the summer holidays have started, parents need to take even more care by staying alert and knowing at all times where their children are," said Nisar Tamboli, deputy commissioner of police, crime.