Suspended constable arrested for raping minor

Jan 14, 2023 12:17 AM IST

Navi Mumbai: A former police constable has been arrested for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl at a garden in Nerul

Navi Mumbai: A former police constable has been arrested for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl at a garden in Nerul.

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The incident took place on December 14 at around 9 pm at Balaji Garden near Terna Hospital when the 16-year-old girl and her group of friends had gone to the garden around 8.30 pm to hang out after their tutorial classes.

After some time, the rest of the group left the place, while the survivor and her one male friend stayed back when the accused, identified as Santosh Narvade, 38, approached the duo and threatened them by introducing himself as a policeman.

While the male friend ran away from the spot, the accused raped the girl and fled. After going back home, the girl narrated the incident and a rape case was registered.

Mahesh Ghurye, additional police commissioner, said, “Unit III of the Crime Branch along with the Nerul police were investigating the case when assistant police inspector Ishan Kharote received a crucial clue about a former police staff, who became our main suspect, and we nabbed him. He confessed to his crime. Currently, he is in police custody and we are investigating the case further to find out if he had committed similar offences in the past.”

In 2014, Narvade, who was then attached to the Taloja police, was booked for extorting money from a couple on Palm Beach Road. He was arrested by the NRI Coastal police and is currently undergoing trial for the same.

According to police, Narvade is addicted to alcohol and has not been working since 2017 after he was suspended under disciplinary action by the department.

“We suspect that he has been surviving in a similar way. Since he has worked in Navi Mumbai, he knows about secluded places frequented by young couples,” a police officer said. The accused used to wear a tracksuit commonly used by policemen to make his targets believe that he was a serving police officer.

A resident of Jogeshwari, the former cop had cut off contact with his previous colleagues after his suspension. “He was not on any social media or in touch with any of his former colleagues. We scrutinised footage from around 40 to 50 CCTV cameras and with the help of technical clues and information, we zeroed in on the accused,” Shatrughna Mali, senior police inspector, Unit III, crime branch, said.

He has been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

“The accused is in police custody till January 16. Further investigations are being carried out by assistant commissioner of Turbhe Division, Gajanan Rathod,” Amit Kale, deputy commissioner of police (Crime Branch), added.

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