On October 11, the incident took place around 10.30 am as the victim was going to her maternal uncle’s office as usual.
The police said the duo, Manish Khanolkar, 24, and Kalpesh Parmar, 26, who had been harassing the 14-year-old for months, intercepted her and coerced her into accompanying them with threats of killing her uncle and grandmother, who have raised her after she was orphaned at the age of two.
After a while, when her grandmother called on her cellphone, there was no response. The family discovered that she had not reached her uncle’s office. After a brief search in Charkop and Borivli, the family filed a missing complaint at the Borivli police station.
As days passed and police could not trace the victim, her family started searching for her, which is when they learnt that she had been stalked and harassed by Khanolkar and Parmar — local goons living in the same locality, for the past six months.
The family then discovered that the duo was also missing, and seemed to not have been around ever since the victim disappeared. On November 3, her uncle discovered that the victim had withdrawn Rs 1.65 lakh from his SBI account — she had four signed cheques with her when she had left for office — and informed the Borivli police immediately.
That’s when the police converted the missing complaint into kidnapping, theft and criminal breach of trust. However, when they still did not make any headway, in the first week of November, her uncle approached unit 11 of the Mumbai crime branch.
An officer from the unit told HT that they picked up some of the duo’s friends for questioning and obtained their cellphone numbers. “When we checked Khanolkar’s call records, we saw that the trail ended in Mumbai. We realised he must have changed his SIM card, so we began tracking Parmar’s number,” the officer said. The tower location of the calls made from Parmar’s phone showed locations in Nashik, Shirdi, Sopara and Anjuna in Goa. “Once we were sure that Parmar was in Goa, we began monitoring his calls and found his exact location,” the officer said.
The crime branch alerted the Anjuna police and dispatched a team to Anjuna immediately. The police tracked down the location to a small hotel, where they found the two kidnappers and the victim on November 14.
During interrogation, Khanolkar told the police he had changed at least 12 SIM cards in the past month so that they don’t trace him. “The duo said that in all the places they took her to, they kept her in a hotel room and would keep an eye on her in shifts so that she did not escape or seek help,” the officer said.
The officer, who also spoke to the girl briefly, said she had not shared her problems with her uncle or grandmother earlier as she was traumatised. “She is very young and didn’t know what to do when she was suddenly exposed to constant threats and beatings,” he said.
Besides forcing her to withdraw Rs. 1.65 lakh, the duo also sold her gold chain for Rs. 18,000.