The number of crimes reported from Mumbai’s west region in 2015 was more or less the same as in the previous year. A total of 11,007 crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were reported from the region in 2014, and this number rose marginally to 11,204 between January and December last year. The police’s detection rate (that is, the percentage of crimes in which police investigations led to the arrest of a suspect), however, dropped slightly from 60% in 2014 to just under 57% in 2015.
Easily the most high-profile case from this region in 2015 was the Sheena Bora murder. It was initially investigated by the Khar police before the state government asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the probe, which was spread across Mumbai, Raigad, Kolkata and Guwahati.
The case was unearthed almost by chance with the arrest of Shyamwar Rai, a former driver of media mogul Indrani Mukerjea, under the Arms Act in August. In custody, Rai told the police about a body — later confirmed to be that of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora — buried in a thicket in Raigad. This led the police to arrest Rai and his former boss Indrani and charge them with murder. Rakesh Maria, then commissioner of police, was criticised for his handling of the case, and when his successor Ahmad Javed admitted he knew the Mukerjeas socially, the state government recommend that the case be transferred to the CBI, which arrested Indrani’s husband Peter Mukerjea shortly after taking over the probe.
While the number of murder reported — and ‘solved’ — remained almost unchanged from 2014, the number of dacoities increased from 10 in 2014 to 20 in 2015, and robberies from 206 in 2014 to 265 in 2015.
Another case that grabbed the headlines was the assault on 69-year-old Harishchandra Mishra. In August, Mishra was attacked with sickles and robbed by a group of men who broke into his beachfront Juhu bungalow.
Crimes against women up 37%
On April 3 last year, a 28-year-old model who had gone to meet a friend at a five-star hotel in Sakinaka was allegedly kidnapped by three plainclothes cops from Sakinaka police station.
They took her to the police station and then to a nearby police chowky where they allegedly molested and raped her after threatening to charge her with prostitution. The policemen were arrested on April 23 after the model sent a text message to then police commissioner Rakesh Maria.
Across the city’s west region, which covers 21 police stations from Bandra to Jogeshwari, the number of crimes against women rose 37% from 2014. The police registered 184 cases of rape in 2015, 27 more than in the previous year. The police also registered cases of 232 women being kidnapped – three times as many as in 2014, when 76 such cases were registered.
Shehzad Ansari, 40, accused in one of the 184 cases of rape, was arrested by the Amboli police in October 2015 after he allegedly raped two eight-year-old girls in Jogeshwari (W) by luring them with chocolates.
In another major case the same month, a 17-year-old girl who studied at a convent school in Bandra died two days after delivering a baby boy. She had allegedly been raped by a close relative. The child survived.
Then in November, a US national was allegedly molested by her drunken domestic help in Khar.
Across the region, the police registered 568 cases of ‘outraging the modestly of a woman’ in 2015, 92 more than in the previous year.
Speaking about the rise in the number of rape cases, assistant commissioner of police Sanjay Kadam said, “In most cases, the victim knows the assailant, and because of this, many cases used to go unreported. But with increased awareness, more women are coming forward to register rape cases against people they know.”