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Waiting for more victims to surface

mumbai Updated: Nov 16, 2010 01:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The police suspect that case involving a rape of a minor, in which encounter specialist and senior inspector of LT Marg police station Arun Borude is also an accused, could just be a part of a bigger flesh trade.

The police in the remand application filed while seeking custody of two real estate agents, Chandraban Gupta and Mohanchand Shyam, said more girls could have be victimised as the arrested accused Shanta Gaikwad, who allegedly induced the minor to indulge in sexual acts, was running a sex racket.

Gupta was arrested from Powai on Sunday and Shyam was arrested from Chandigarh and brought to the city.

The police told the court that they want to find the other victims in the alleged sex racket. Gupta was also involved in the racket run by Gaikwad, said the police. The girl’s mother lodged a complaint on November 1 after the victim delivered a premature girl on October 17. The victim has alleged that she had been raped repeatedly since March.

The victim, who lives with her family in Powai, told the police that a widow from her neighbourhood had forced her to indulge in sexual acts with two men she did not know. The woman, Shanta Gaikwad, who worked as a domestic help in housing societies at Powai, also ran a commercial sex racket, the victim alleged. Gaikwad was arrested on November 1.

Senior police inspector Ashok Jadhav of Powai police station said: “We are trying to find out if there are any more victims who had been forced into the flesh trade by Gaikwad.”

Jadhav added, “We suspect that she was running a racket in the Filterpada area of Powai. If we get anymore complainants it will help strengthen our case.”

He added, “Initially, the victims would have been scared to tell anyone. Now that Gaikwad has been exposed, we are hoping the victims will approach us.” The police also told the court that other than Boude another unidentified accused is absconding. “This unidentified accused too had raped the minor girl,” said public prosecutor Rajaram Bendkoni.

The police, while seeking the custody of Gupta and Shyam, told the court that they want to interrogate them because Gaikwad had named them. The police said they needed to take their DNA samples.

The special Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA) court remanded Gupta and Shyam to police custody until Wednesday.