The woman had on Monday filed a complaint stating that the biker rode towards her and sped away after groping her. She said the attack occurred in a lane behind Sagar Flats and in front of SVP Enclave towards Drive-In Road on Monday morning.
The crime scene
On Wednesday, TOI visited the woman’s house, which is owned by the daughter of the internationally acclaimed architect with whose firm the woman works. One of her two friends from Italy said, “She is disturbed by the act and she will not be able to talk on the incident.”
Sources in the housing society of Bodakdev where the woman stays said that they did not see her for two days. “We saw her friends going towards the architecture firm on Drive-in Road, but we did not see her,” said a neighbour.
The limited CCTV footage of the incident shows that the woman had on Monday gone to her workplace at around 9.40am, about 10 minutes after her male friend. Usually, she is seen with the friend but that day she was alone.
Cops are yet to get any clue about the pervert who molested the foreigner. Police said that the incident has left the woman scared and shocked due to which she could not give any clue to help nab the culprit.
“Earlier, she had said that the accused approached her, molested her, and sped away on a bike,” a city police official said. “When we took her to the scene of crime, she told us that the accused was probably parked at one place, then approached her and molested her.”
Cops have also showed the CCTV footage to the woman but no new leads emerged. “Besides, she said that the man was wearing a helmet and a cream-coloured shirt,” the official said. “But we could not ascertain the identity of the accused on the basis of those clues alone.”
Sole CCTV’s visuals obstructed by damaged shed
The cops are relying on footage of a CCTV camera installed at a garage, near where the Italian woman was molested on Monday morning. But the footage couldn’t help so far as a shed put above it, got bent following rains and obstructed the view towards the road side.
“The area does not have any other CCTV camera in which the incident might have been captured. A camera installed above the gates of SVP Enclave, where IB officials live, only captures the entry towards the flats. So, there is little hope of getting anything from CCTV footage,” said a cop. Now, the cops have activated their informer network to get some clue in the case.
Habitual molesters under scanner
Vastrapur police probing the molestation of the Italian intern said they will also examine whereabouts of habitual offenders including Parhswa Shah of Thaltej who had molested school-going girls in May this year. Besides Shah, who was recently released on bail, a 27-year-old man, Moiz Mukim Sheikh, resident of Sarkhej, was also under scanner.
Police officials said that they will check the records of molesters to learn where they had been on that particular day when the incident occurred. Vastrapur police have also consulted other police stations to learn if any habitual molester was ever booked or charged by them and if he could be involved in the case.
When the girl was taken to the crime scene in Bodakdev, a senior police official noted that she was wearing two gold chains. After this the cops again asked the girl how she was attacked by the alleged molester and on basis of the girl’s statement, police are also probing the angle of chain-snatching even though not a single case was reported in the stretch for around two years.
A cop said that usually chain snatchers loot in early morning when few people are on roads. But the theory does not stand as the incident occurred at 9.40am on Monday when people were moving about. Also, snatchers are rarely known to miss their targets.
Involvement of someone who had observed the woman possible: cops
Whoever had molested the Italian intern was acquainted with her movements, said a police official.
The molester might have known that she was going alone on that morning
“He could be a person who either lives near the residential society where she stays or at the workplace where she is interning. We will ask people working at the firm and living nearby her house, to learn if they know something,” said the official.
The doubt of a person aware of her movements gets stronger as the accused molested the woman on a patch which was not covered by CCTV and fled evading CCTV surveillance.
(The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court directives on cases related to sexual assault)