When the lockdown across the nation was imposed, people were under the false impression of them being safe within the walls of their homes. However, ironically, the crime rate across the country during the past 4 months only kept surging in each state in the country. More so, it was pointed out that with the lockdown in action, women were at rest, contrary to which, not only have the cases of domestic violence gone up, but shockingly, rape cases and other offences against women are at its peak. On June 30, 2020, a 45-year old woman from Mumbai’s Mankhurd area allegedly was forced to have a spiked drink, who woke up realising she was sexually assaulted. She rushed to the nearest police station to file a complaint where a First Information Report (FIR) was registered.
According to what the woman narrated to the police officials, she was blindsided before being exposed to the crime. A fellow colleague of hers, from one of her temporary jobs, Abdul Jillani Sheikh, aged 34, had invited her to accompany him to a friend’s child’s birthday celebration. On reaching the house at Lallubhai Compound in Mankhurd at around 7:30 pm, the victim was surprised to find no kids at the residence, given it had to be a child’s birthday party. The only people she found there were three other men, now identified as, Hyder Sheikh Hira, 35, Muraad Mehboob Sheikh, 29, and Mohammed Sheikh Rahim, 34.
To refrain her from asking questions, she was immediately handed over a drink saying that the others were on their way to the venue. The drink was allegedly spiked before passing out to her. She lost her consciousness right after consuming it. The four men are also now known to be residents of Matunga Labour Camp.
”The complaint told us that there were three men in the house when she reached there. She said it was a little awkward to see no children despite it being a child’s birthday party. They handed her a drink saying that the others are on their way.” stated a police officer from the Mankhurd Police Station. He also added that an FIR has been registered against the four accused including the prime accused Abdul Jillani Sheikh. “We registered the FIR against the four men, of whom she knew Abdul Jillani Sheikh. The woman lives alone in Mankhurd, and Sheikh had befriended her after meeting her at a temporary job.” added the police official.
Four people have been booked and arrested for allegedly raping a 44-year-old woman in Mankhurd area of Mumbai, Maharashtra on June 24: Inspector Kishore Kharat, in-charge of Mankhurd Police Station
— ANI (@ANI) July 6, 2020
A similar situation had taken place in the start of 2019 where a widow was gang raped by 5 men in Mankhurd. The mother of two, who made a living by selling flowers, was reportedly returning home after attending a religious programme through the service road at Mandala, Mankhurd, when she was stopped and dragged to a secluded place inside a parked auto rickshaw by 5 men. She was threatened to be killed if she raised her voice in alarm. The FIR was only filed on the evening of the next day, January 16, when the victim herself approached the police and registered a case of gang rape.
Mumbai: Two persons have been arrested in connection with the alleged gang rape of a 30-year-old woman in Mankhurd. Case has been registered and further investigation is underway. #Maharashtra
— ANI (@ANI) January 21, 2019
Although the five accused were very unknown, with the help of technology, the police were successful in capturing two of them immediately. The five accused identified then were, Pranay Ingole, 21, Sandeep Kamble, 21, Ramesh Kamble, 19, Nimal Isaac, 18, along with a minor. The woman was a resident of Sathe Nagar in Mankhurd. Three of the accused were from around the same area as well. The woman was admitted to Shatabdi Hospital as she sustained a head injury during the unfortunate incident.
Not only heinous crimes, Mumbai has been witnessing all sorts of unseen situations since the imposition of lockdown. One of them being, concerns for the blazing noise of Azaan during prayer times. Karishma Bhosale, a young girl living in Mankhurd, had emerged having an issue with a loudspeaker installed by a nearby mosque near her residence being ’too loud’, in June. She took upon herself to visit the mosque and ask the authorities there to do the needful politely, which in this case would be lowering the volume.
She was shocked to see the hooliganism from the mosque authorities, which included women also, who bullied her to suppress her voice. On June 24, a notice was addressed to the girl’s mother mentioning how inappropriate it had been of Karishma to visit the mosque and ask them to lower the sound of their loudspeaker as the proper way to express her grievance would have been filing a complaint. The notice also threatened Karishma and her mother of being booked under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Mankhurd’s local Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Abu Azmi, had allegedly suggested the girl to leave her residence and reside elsewhere if she continues to have the same problems. In talks with Ajanta News, Azmi refuted the allegations on him by the girl and had appealed to both the communities to live peacefully. The former Member of Parliament (MP) and current Vice President of Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit, Kirit Somaiya, met the girl at her Mankhurd residence and applauded her courage to challenge the wrongdoings of the mosque authorities in the name of ‘Azan’. He had also accompanied her to the police station to quash the false charges against her.