Tempo driver held for molesting six minor schoolgirls around Ghatkopar
The Ghatkopar police recently arrested a 35-year-old man for allegedly molesting at least six minor girls in the past few months. The accused, Sachin Anant Shama, a tempo driver, would lure schoolgirls by offering them chocolates, take them to isolated areas and molest them, the police said.
Shama was arrested last Thursday after parents of a 10-year-old girl, one of his victims, lodged a police complaint.
“During his interrogation, Shama said he has committed similar offences in the past,” said Akhilesh Singh, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), zone-7. “Five other cases of molestation have been registered against him at Parksite, Saki Naka and Ghatkopar police stations. The survivors have identified him and he has admitted to the crimes.”
The 10-year-old, on whose complaint Shama was finally arrested, told the police that while she was returning home from her dance class on August 13, the accused met her and offered her chocolates. He then allegedly took her to a deserted place and touched her inappropriately. When the scared girl started crying, he fled, said the police, adding that after she reached home and told her parents everything, they approached the Ghatkopar police and a case of child sexual abuse was registered under relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act.
A police team, comprising inspector Pramod Kokate, sub-inspectors Maitranand Khandare and Jyoriram Vhanmane, among others, CCTV footage from the area and launched a manhunt for the accused.
“After showing a blurred photo of the suspect to more than 300 people, we got some leads and zeroed in on the accused,” said Kokate.
Shama, who is a resident of Bhatwadi in Ghatkopar (West), hails from Raigad district and has four brothers. His mother sells fish in Bhatwadi. “Shama said he has been molesting girls since he was a teenager. He told us he started molesting minors as they get scared quickly and are easy target,” Kokate said.
The police said they are investigating if Shama has committed more such crimes in the past.