An 18-year-old woman, who had run away from her home in Punjab, was allegedly raped by a man at Kamathipura in Mumbai on the pretext of helping her, police said on Sunday. The incident took place on November 9 and the accused, identified as Akhtar Riyazuddin Qureshi (45), was arrested the next day, police said.
"The woman left her home in Punjab on October 17 over some family dispute. She had stolen Rs 10,000 from her house and went to Amritsar, Surat and Rajasthan, before coming to Mumbai on November 9," a police official said.
"She got down at Mumbai Central, where Qureshi saw her weeping. He approached the woman and asked her whereabouts and whether he could help her. She told about her problems to him," he said. Promising to provide shelter and food to her, Qureshi took the woman to the infamous red-light area of Kamathipura in the city, where a local woman provided accommodation to them.
"He brought food for the victim. But after some time, he sexually assaulted her and threatened her with dire consequences if she revealed about it to anybody," the police official said.
After committing the crime, Qureshi left the place. The woman managed to escape from the spot and saw a policeman on the street, whom she narrated her ordeal. He took the victim to Nagpada police station, where she lodged a complaint.
After registering a case against Qureshi, police launched a probe. They examined the CCTV footage of the area and arrested Qureshi, police said.