After spending three months trying to trace an obscene caller who made lewd telephone calls to four girls from several public call offices (PCOs), the police made a breakthrough in the case by arresting a 28-year-old man.
MIDC police arrested Rehan Abdul Kareem Mansoori on Friday and charged him to insult the modesty of a woman.
Police said the girls were tormented by the accused almost daily for three months, but they couldn't trace him, as he would make the calls from different PCOs located in south Mumbai.
According to the police, the accused, a native of Gujarat, is a resident of Zaveri Bazar, south Mumbai, and he was sacked from the multinational firm he was employed with due to bad behaviour. Before leaving the company, Rehan got his hands on many mobile phone numbers from the company's database.
The four girls are employed with the same multinational firm, but work at the Andheri (E) branch, while the accused worked at the south Mumbai office.
The calls were made from the first week of November till February 22.
Police said the victims initially shied away from approaching anyone regarding the obscene calls, as they feared that it would be impossible to trace calls made from PCOs. Finally, fed up with the offensive and abusive language, the victims approached the MIDC police in February and filed a complaint.
A tough task
In light of the recent atrocities against women, MIDC police began investigating the case in earnest. They took down the PCO numbers and began locating the booths. They found that the caller had made the calls from 10 different PCO booths, and interestingly all of them were situated in central and south Mumbai.
An officer from MIDC police station said after making this discovery, they contacted the company manager who revealed to them that they have a branch in Mumbai Central.
"We asked for details of all employees working at this office. Our suspicion was aroused when we realised that an employee residing in Zaveri Bazar was expelled due to bad behaviour," said the police officer from MIDC police station, on condition of anonymity.
"The victims had told us that the caller sometimes spoke to them in Gujarati, and the sacked employee fitted the description. We requested the company to provide us with his mobile number, but they were not able to since the accused did not have a mobile phone. But he had furnished his wife's mobile number, in case of any emergency," said the cop.
The police then asked the company to call the wife's number and inform her that they were willing to re-hire the accused.
Laying the trap
"The wife assured us that she would pass on the message to her husband. Two days later, Rehan telephoned the company's Human Resource department from the same PCO booth he used to make the obscene calls. We were 100 per cent sure that we had got our man," said the policeman.
"When he arrived at the Andheri office, we nabbed him and questioned him. In his confession, he revealed that he was habituated to making obscene calls to women. His wife also told us that she had earlier warned her husband, as he had also targeted her friends in the past," said the police officer.