A 23-year-old man, released on bail after being arrested for attacking a 16-year-old girl, attacked her once again on Monday. Prashant Katalkar attacked the Class 10 student with a knife when she was alone at home.
The girl has been admitted to the intensive care unit of Shreedevi Hospital, Kalyan, and her condition is critical, police said. Two of her neighbours, who tried to save her, were also attacked by the accused, and have been admitted to a hospital.
"The accused is absconding and three police teams are looking for him. We will arrest him soon," said Indrajeet Karle, inspector of Manpada police station.
"Katalkar had been stalking the victim for the last six months. We received a complaint on November 9, and arrested him. The court released him on bail on Monday, after which he broke into the victim's house and attacked her. When the neighbours tried to rescue the girl, he did not spare them either," said Karle.
The victim's father, Rajesh Gupta, 40, said Katalkar used to follow his daughter everywhere and had proposed marriage to her.
"When my daughter refused, he became angry and started stalking her. After she told me about it, I went to the police station four times, but the police did not take cognisance of the complaint."
On November 9, Katalkar followed the victim and hit her with a wooden stick on her head and fled. "We then lodged a complaint of molestation and assault, but the accused got bail within two days," said Gupta. "I had to withdraw my daughter's name from the school to save her from the harassment. She used to cry after returning from school every day."
Gupta said that since he worked in Uran, he left home early and returned late, and his daughter remained alone at home during the day. On Monday, Katalkar broke into Gupta's house through the ceiling. "When the neighbours tried to intervene, the accused attacked them too. Two of my neighbours, Mithun Jha, 20, and his mother have been admitted to Gurukripa Hospital, Dombivli," Gupta said.