It is rare for the police in India to collect DNA samples on a mass scale in a bid to find a killer. But the Mumbai police have done just that.
Foxed by the serial rapist-cum-killer of pre-pubescent girls who seems to be striking at will in the northeastern suburbs of Nehru Nagar and Kurla, the police have taken DNA
samples of 80 people living in the areas where the bodies were found. Even policemen and their families living in the area have not been spared.
The body of the second victim, a nine-year-old girl, was found on the roof of a building within the police quarters at Nehru Nagar in March. Rajnish Seth, joint commissioner of police, law and order, said that subsequently, policemen living there were questioned and DNA samples taken from whoever was remotely suspected.
All the samples have been sent to a forensic lab to match against those of the killer found on or around the bodies.
Meanwhile residents of the area are on edge.
On Wednesday, a 41-year-old alcoholic was caught and mercilessly beaten up by locals who claimed he had been trying to molest a 10-year-old. He is said to have offered the girl Rs 20 and then suggested she accompany him to his house where he would give her more money and chocolates.
“We don’t think this man had anything to do with the killings,” said a senior police officer. “But we don’t rule out the possibility either.”