For one week, a Pydhonie police team went 10 times to a village in Uttar Pradesh looking for a 30-year-old tempo driver who had allegedly kidnapped a 13-year-old girl from Mumbai and raped her.
They finally caught him after they learnt that the Mubarak Din Mohammed Shaikh they were looking for was, in fact, Balchandra.
The accused was living in Mumbai with a fake identity.
On May 19, the girl’s father filed a missing person’s complaint.
After inquiries, the police found out that one of the neighbours, Shaikh, was also missing.
The police said Shaikh, who had separated from his wife Zarina, was allegedly involved with the girl and when her father learnt of their affair, they decided to elope.
On May 19, Shaikh allegedly kidnapped the girl and took her to Kurla Terminus where they boarded a train to Sultanpur, UP.
The police then converted the complaint into a kidnap case.
“We questioned Zarina, who told us that he may have taken the girl to Ghama, his village in UP,” said Police Sub-Inspector Pradeep Solunkhe.
A team left for Ghama but even after making 10 visits to the village could not trace him.
“On Sunday, when the girl called her father, we traced the cellphone number but still could not locate him. We then traced three previous calls made from that number and we shocked to find that the accused’s real name was Balchandra. He had created a fake identity in Mumbai,” said Salunkhe.
“We realised that we had been looking for a Muslim man when he is a Hindu. We immediately informed our team in Ghama, who arrested Balchandra and rescued the girl.”
The police have sent the girl for a medical examination.