Mumbai: A schoolgirl escaped the clutches of her kidnapper by leaping out of a moving vehicle in Dongri yesterday.
The 10-year-old girl was waiting for her school van to arrive when the accused, driving a van, pulled up next to her and told her that he would be dropping her to the school that day, as the usual van had broken down.
A few minutes into the journey, the minor spotted her school van going past them and sensed something amiss. When she protested, the accused began touching her inappropriately, after which she jumped off the moving van.
The incident took place in the Dongri area at 7 am. The accused has been identified as Raju Khan. Cops nabbed him over six hours after later. An officer from Dongri police station said, “A yellow private van had been assigned to pick the girl up, but on Friday a red van stopped in front of the girl.
Khan, on the pretext of dropping her to school, fooled her into getting in his vehicle. Before getting in, the girl, however, inquired about the other students that the van picks up daily before her. The driver told her that he had already dropped them to school and had been sent again.”
Although doubts were creeping in her mind, she remained seated in the van. But when the vehicle took a different route, she raised her objections, to which the driver paid no heed. As luck would have it, she spotted her daily van and raised an alarm after which the accused made indecent advances towards her. Petrified with the turn of events, she jumped off the moving vehicle, escaping with an injury to her left hand.
“After she jumped off, bystanders gathered at the spot and one of them made a note of the van’s licence plate number. Within two hours we found the vehicle parked at RCF Colony in Chembur, and managed to procure the name of the car owner,” said the police officer. The Dongri police officials reached the house of the woman whom the van belongs to, and asked her to call the driver to her house.
A trap was laid by the cops and the accused was nabbed around 1.30 pm, six hours after the incident. Khan, however, claimed that the schoolgirl sat in the van willingly and asked him to drop her to school. Khan has been booked under sections 354 (assault or criminal force on woman with intent to hurt her) and 363 (kidnapping) of the IPC, along with section 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.