A key found in the shanty from where the eight-year-old Shaheen Sheikh’s (name changed) body was found, could be the key to the hunt for the alleged serial rapist and murderer.
The police suspect the key could belong to the accused and that he is a local. The manner in which he has been targeting the victims, indicates he knows the area well.
Initial investigation revealed that the shanty where the body was found had been unoccupied for three months, after its owner sold it. Five other adjoining shanties were also shut for about a month, as their owners had gone to their hometowns.
“The accused must have known this and that’s why chosen a hut in this particular lane,” said Assistant Police Inspector C. Adhav.
The police are visiting all the residences in the densely populated Vatsalatai Nagar slum hoping to find the lock that matches the key.
“We are co-operating with the police so that the accused gets arrested,” said Bhandari Nagappa (49), a local.
A single key without any chain and a Rs 2 coin were found from the spot, said police sources.
The police believe the coin could be that of the victim, as her father had given her money to buy ice-candy.
Sheikh went missing from near her residence in Nehru Nagar on June 6. Her body was found from a shanty in Vatsalatai Nagar. This was the third case in which a minor girl was kidnapped, raped and murdered.
The earlier two cases had taken place in the same area in February and March. The bodies of these victims were found on building terraces — including one at a terrace of the police quarter opposite Nehru Nagar police station.
A number of top police officials and leaders from the home ministry visited the Nehru Nagar police station on Monday to discuss the line of investigation in the case.