“He was picked up by our team from Chembur and will be brought to Goa on Saturday,” DIG Ravindra Yadav told Deccan Herald.
Bhardwaj, 21, a native of Basti, Uttar Pradesh, had been on the run since early Thursday when he was tipped off about the police hunt for him. “We knew he had somehow managed to reach Belgaum from where he took a bus to Mumbai. We were monitoring his movement all along,” police sources said.
Earlier in the day, the police also managed to bring in Anil Kumar Raghuvanshi, 27, the accomplice in the case. Raghuvanshi who tried to make a getaway by taking a bus to Belgaum from here on Thursday night, was persuaded to turn himself in, police sources said. He was picked up from the Panaji bus-stand early on Friday and has been remanded to seven days’ judicial custody.
Raghuvanshi from Andhra Pradesh is being treated as an accomplice and has admitted to his involvement, Yadav said. He distracted the Russian mother’s attention by engaging her in a conversation while her daughter was being sexually abused by Bhardwaj.
Both men worked in a pharma unit at Pernem Industrial Estate which is not far off from Arambol beach. They had gone to the beach on a picnic on Republic Day with 10 other co-workers. The two accused, however, walked away from the group to a secluded part of the beach where they spotted the young Russian mother alone with her nine-year-old. While Raghuvanshi kept pestering the mother with small talk, Bhardwaj got into the water where he accosted the girl.
‘A great relief’
The mother of the child victim said she was both relieved and happy that the man responsible for sexually abusing her daughter and his accomplice had been arrested.
“The child herself, who is still traumatised, smiled when I told her the news and got up to shake my hand,” their lawyer Vikarm Varma told this newspaper.
The mother, 34, a doctor from Moscow, had travelled here on December 13 with her husband and child.
Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, meanwhile, announced that Goa would soon set up fast track courts to take up cases of crimes against women. He said the State Law Commission had been directed to study the issue.