Duncan Grant and Alan Waters, whose acquittals in a 2001 paedophilia case were struck down by the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday, were nowhere to be seen at the Anchorage shelter near Cuffe Parade.
Grant and Waters had been convicted in 2006 of sexually abusing boys at the shelter, but the Bombay high court had overturned their convictions in 2008 as it found the victims’ statements to be unreliable.
Anchorage staff said the duo had been staying there till Friday morning.
All the shelter’s windows and doors were shut, and the door was answered only after several rings of the doorbell.
A man who identified himself as Hamid Sheikh, 23, and claiming to be the caretaker peered out briefly. He said he didn’t know where Grant and Waters were, adding that there were no children at the shelter.
Taraq Sayed, counsel for Grant and Waters, said: “We haven’t got the judgment copy yet. As soon as we receive the warrants, my clients will surrender and serve out the remainder of their [six-year] sentences.”
While Waters has served five years in jail, Grant has served three years and two months. Police officers said on condition of anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the media that they would wait for the order copy before arresting the duo. Cherring Dorje, deputy commissioner of police, said he didn’t know of the matter.
The sources said the duo is likely to be kept in Thane Central Jail or Taloja jail.
People living near the shelter described Waters as “intimidating”, adding that Grant had not been spotted for weeks.
“Grant was very approachable, and would often buy us chocolates. Somehow, Waters always intimidated us,” said Afzal Syed, a neighbour who claimed to have grown up around the two men.
Neighbours said Anchorage rarely got visitors and the duo spoke to them only when necessary.
“They were never open with us even though we have been neighbours for over seven years. They never discussed their personal lives. When the case was filed, we knew something was going on but they never spoke to us about it,” said Phulchand Morya, a fisherman who lives near Anchorage.
“We saw Waters last night. We had no idea the case was on in the Supreme Court.”