"Please take me home," pleaded the 14-year-old girl, weeping uncontrollably, when Mumbai police officers rescued her from a Goa hotel. The Kandivli girl had been rescued a month after she was kidnapped, and then raped repeatedly by her 24-year-old neighbour.
Crime Branch officers also arrested the girl's two kidnappers and brought them to the city last afternoon.
They revealed that the rapist, identified as Manish Khanulkar, had also stolen a large amount of cash from the girl, and used it to check into various hotels over a period of 30 days, on the way to Goa from Mumbai. At each of the hotels, he raped her repeatedly.
According to police officers from Unit XI of the Crime Branch, the victim, who is an orphan, stayed with her grandmother and uncle in Charkop, Kandivli (West). She used to help her uncle at his estate agency in the locality.
Over the past few months, Khanulkar had been harassing the girl, but she ignored him. On October 9, Khanulkar even intercepted the girl and tried to molest her. The girl had slapped him and raised an alarm.
On October 11, she was on her way to the bank to deposit a cheque worth Rs 1.65 lakh, which had been signed by her uncle.
Seizing the opportunity, Khanulkar approached her to apologise, and soon started walking with her. When the two reached the end of the road, an auto rickshaw pulled up in front of them. Khanulkar's friend Kalpesh Vinod Parmar (26) pulled the girl in and drove away.
After kidnapping her, Khanulkar and Parmar took the girl to Gokul Hotel on the highway at Dahisar. While Parmar stood guard, Khanulkar raped the girl, threatening to kill her uncle and grandmother if she protested.
"The girl was mortified, and did not raise the alarm. The men appropriated the cheque she was carrying, withdrew Rs 1.65 lakh from the bank, and used it to pay for the hotel stay. They then took her to various hotels in Shirdi, Konkan, Pune and Goa, raping her at each pit stop," said Senior Police Inspector Dalvi.
The men also sold the girl's gold chain for Rs 18,000 to pay for the rest of the bills.
After she went missing, the girl's uncle registered a missing person's complaint with the police.
Learning that Khanulkar had also gone missing since the day his niece was kidnapped, he registered a kidnapping complaint against him on November 3.
Cops obtained Khanulkar's mobile number, which they began tracing. "We also got the transaction record from the bank where they had withdrawn the cash. The mobile tracking showed us that Khanulkar had been in Goa three times in a month. On Saturday, we tracked Khanulkar's mobile to Anjuna beach in Goa, We reached there and arrested the two men," said Dalvi.
"The girl told us that Khanulkar had also raped another girl in her building last year, but her parents had shied away from registering a police complaint, and instead, left the locality. The victim was scared that Khanulkar would kill her uncle and grandmother, so she did not try to contact anybody," added Dalvi.