14-year-old disabled girl raped in moving taxi
While the driver drove the taxi from Dadar till Malwani, his friend allegedly raped the victim in the backseat
Mumbai A 14-year-old disabled girl was allegedly kidnapped and raped in a moving taxi on Monday. The Malabar Hill police arrested a taxi driver and his friend in relation to the case.
The police said that the victim went missing early on Monday from her home in south Mumbai. Taxi driver Prakash Pandey, 28, had parked his taxi on the road and was waiting for passengers when he saw the girl and convinced her to sit in the taxi. He drove to Dadar where he called his friend, Salman Shaikh, 26, who got into the taxi as well. While the driver drove the taxi till Malwani, Shaikh allegedly raped the victim in the backseat. They then left the victim in Malwani and returned home, said a police official.
The arrested duo live in Dadar. While Pandey drives a taxi, Shaikh works in a small restaurant and delivers tiffins to homes. Both were produced in court and are currently in police custody.
According to the police, the victim’s family approached the Malabar Hill police when they woke up to find their daughter missing. As the victim is a minor, a case of kidnapping was registered by noon that day, based on the statement given by family members.
“We scrutinized the CCTV footage of the vicinity and found some clues. Police acted quickly and based on the technical evidence as well as the registration number of the taxi, police identified Pandey. The victim was spotted in the Malwani area from where she was rescued and sent for a medical test,” said the official. Pandey was picked up from Dadar and brought to the police station. During interrogation, he revealed the name of Shaikh and subsequently he was also taken into custody in the evening.
Based on the victim’s statement, the accused were booked under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.