70-year-old 'rapes' mentally ill neighbour at Neelasandra

A septuagenarian widower and father and grandfather many times over, was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly raping his 22-year-old mentally unsound neighbour at her house on Bazaar Street in Neelasandra here.

The Ashok Nagar police identified the accused as Dastagir Khan, who had lost his wife a year ago.

Khan, a marriage broker, whose more than a dozen children are all married and settled, allegedly accosted the victim when she was alone at home and her mother, a ward assistant in a private hospital, was away at work. The accused and the victim live a few houses apart.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central, Ramesh said a case of rape has been booked against Khan.

Narrating the sequence of events, he said: “The victim is mentally challenged. Usually, the mother switched on the TV and kept her food ready before leaving home. Though she was used to being alone, occasionally one of her brothers would drop by in the afternoon to feed her. On the evening of the alleged rape, between 4.30 pm and 5.30 pm, Khan sneaked into the house and misbehaved with her.”

When the victim started shouting for help, Khan hurried out only to cross paths with the victim’s brother, Dinesh Kumar. Seeing the consternation of Khan and his sister crying, Dinesh and the neighbours grew suspicious. Using a  little force, the brother ferreted out the truth even as Khan’s friends came to his support.

When the mother returned a few hours later, the victim poured out her tale of woe. The family then lodged a complaint after police reassured them of protection.

On Wednesday, the victim and the accused were taken to Bowring Hospital for medical examination. The police had a tough time ascertaining Khan’s age. He kept insisting that he was 82 years old and pleaded innocence. Doctors confirmed he was in his 70s. Khan was produced before the 11th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.

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