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30-year-old serial rapist arrested for sexually abusing minor girls

A team of 200 cops checked over 1,500 hours of visuals from 600 CCTVs for 7 months before nailing the suspect.

delhi Updated: Jan 31, 2019 08:28 IST
Anvit Srivastava
Anvit Srivastava
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
CCTV,CCTV cameras,minor
Delhi Polie arrested a 30-year-old man was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing minor girls in east Delhi neighbourhoods in the last nine months. (Reuters / Representative Photo )

A 30-year-old man, arrested Tuesday for raping a seven-year-old girl, had raped three more minor girls in east Delhi neighbourhoods in the last nine months, police said on Wednesday.

The serial crimes came to the fore during their probe into the rape of the seven-year-old.

The first of these alleged rapes was committed in May 2018, while the other three crimes happened in the last 40 days. The four rapes involved children aged between seven and 11 years, all of whom were sexually assaulted by the suspect, Manish Chaddha, after allegedly being lured to the terraces near their homes.

Jasmeet Singh, additional deputy commissioner of police (east), confirmed the involvement of Chaddha in all four crimes and said they were committed in Pandav Nagar, Ghazipur, Kalyanpuri and Madhu Vihar.

An investigator, who did not want to be named, said Chaddha was captured by multiple CCTV cameras near the crime spot on each of the four occasions. So his built and looks were known to the police, but his identity remained unknown until late Monday as his face wasn’t clear in the footage. But the footage of his maroon scooter parked in Madhu Vihar was noticed by the investigators. That helped police identify and arrest him.

Chaddha, police said, is unemployed and unmarried, and lived with his widowed mother on the rent earned by leasing out a part of their house. He has studied till class 10 and was into gambling.

The cases

Police said the first rape was reported from Pandav Nagar on May 15, 2018. Chaddha allegedly lured a 10-year-old girl to the terrace while she was playing outside. A “stout man of medium height” was caught by multiple cameras and police believed him to be the suspect, but there was no way to ascertain his identity.

Whether Chaddha targeted any other child from then until December remains unknown, but investigators said they are unaware of any such crime with a similar modus operandi.

But a similar crime was reported to the police on December 18, and they realised that were tracking a repeat offender. This time, a seven-year-old girl in Ghazipur was the victim. The modus operandi was the same and description of the suspect matched that of the man in Pandav Nagar case. Police had CCTV footage, but still no identity.

The third case came on January 22. This time, the suspect was dressed in a suit and had targeted an 11-year-old girl who had stepped out of her Kalyanpuri home to purchase dairy products. “The only difference in Chaddha’s approach in this case was that he thrashed the girl for resisting rape,” an officer said.

The house in east Delhi where the suspected rapist Manish Chaddha lived with his mother. ( Amal KS/ HT photo )

The breakthrough

Chaddha struck a fourth time within a week. On Monday night, he allegedly offered Rs 50 note to a seven-year-old girl and lured her to the rooftop of a house in Madhu Vihar. But this time, the girl managed to slip away in the middle of the sexual assault.

“She ran downstairs crying. Chaddha followed her closely and mingled in the crowd. Since a crowd had gathered, Chaddha was scared to take away his scooter that he had parked nearby. Residents suspected that the scooter belonged to an outsider. This was a breakthrough that gave us his address,” the officer said. Chaddha, meanwhile, feared that police would be on his trail and did not go to his home in Shakarpur. Police said he was caught while loitering around another neighbourhood near his home, early Tuesday.

The probe

The police said they had nearly given up on cracking the first case as the CCTV footage yielded no result. The footage of the suspect in the second rape case in December, as well as the similarity in the modus operandi, led police to believe they were behind the same man. “Between May and January, we checked over 1,500 hours of visuals from 600 CCTV cameras installed near the crime spot as well as along 30 kilometres of roads that he could have possibly taken after the rapes. Almost 200 police personnel worked in shifts to investigate the crimes,” the police officer said.

First Published: Jan 31, 2019 07:42 IST