Over 20 boys say Abdul Rashid Sheikh repeatedly raped them for four years. The man still roams free. Meet Mumbai’s newest…
Married dad of four, Abdul Rashid Sheikh allegedly sexually abused over 20 young boys repeatedly and then secured their secrecy by threatening them with physical harm.
Sheikh allegedly knew all the victims and, in fact, in some of the cases, Sheikh and the boys’ parents were family friends.
Traumatic: Atif Sheikh, 16, said he was raped seven times over a period of four months and was forced to watch porn films
Last week, six children, abused when they were between 15 and 18 years old, finally summoned the courage to tell their parents, who, in turn, filed a complaint with the Vakola police.
Afroz Rehman (name changed) who was allegedly abused when he was 16, said, “Uncle ruined my life.
I was too shocked to come to terms with what had happened to me, but I knew it was terribly wrong.
But I did not have the courage to tell anyone. I hope he stays in jail forever.”
Afroz said he was first shown a porn CD and then raped, repeatedly.
Yet, Sheikh has not been arrested. Senior police inspector at the Vakola police station, Anil Kharade said, “We have registered the complaint, but have not yet arrested him because we are awaiting concrete evidence.
Only a few boys have come forward and recorded their statement, and that is not enough.”
Despite requests by the desperate parents the Vakola police only registered an FIR under section 373 of the IPC (buying minors for purposes of prostitution) and section 377 (unnatural sex).
However, IPS officer-turned-lawyer Y P Singh said the man should have been arrested.
“If the children have come forward and a complaint has been filed, the police should have arrested him immediately. They have enough grounds to arrest him.”
When told that the police wanted more evidence, he said, “The statements of the boys are evidence.
Forensic tests need to be conducted at his home where the incidents took place and physical evidence like the porn CDs need to be confiscated immediately.”
Nephew catches him
Sheikh, who is in his late forties, and owns a shop, has numerous complaints registered against him for property disputes and fights.
He is feared in the area for his clout. In fact, the case would never have been registered, but for his nephew.
Said Aasif Sheikh, his nephew, “We knew he used to sexually abuse children, but never had any proof. On August 16, I saw him at his home sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy.
I immediately got the child’s parents and neighbours and barged into his house. The boy’s parents beat him up and it was only then, that some of his victims came forward.”
Aasif said there was a property dispute between his parents and Sheikh, but it had not prompted him to get help for the rape victims.
Said Ansar Siddqui, the father of a 17-year-old victim, “Only after Sheikh was caught in the act, did my son tell me that he too had been abused. I am shocked and want him to be punished severely.”
A traumatised Atif Sheikh (16, name changed), who was allegedly abused for four months said, “Uncle raped me seven times on different occasions. I was afraid and ashamed and I did not tell anyone.”
Sheikh’s wife Rehana took the call and said he was in Pune. “There’s a property dispute with the nephew and his parents.
So they have made false allegations and got neighbours to file a case. Which is why the police have not arrested my husband, as he is innocent,” she said.
Brits Duncan Grant and Allan Waters were convicted in 2006 for sexually abusing five street children. They were later acquitted.
Swiss couple Wilhelm and Lile Marti were found guilty of paedophilia involving two street girls in 2003. They shockingly fled India in 2005.
Mira Road resident Kishore Chauhan and his wife Anjana were arrested for allegedly raping their two daughters.