The Inside Story
Mumbai: A 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her stepfather on a number of occasions at their residence in suburban Malad, police said on Wednesday.
An FIR was registered in Malwani police station last night and a manhunt launched for the accused, Azeem Shaikh (35), who was sexually abusing his stepdaughter since February, they said.

The victim was first raped in February this year by Shaikh, and was subsequently sexually abused on different occasions when her mother was away at work, police said.

Shaikh is the second husband of the girl's mother.

"As the girl could not bear the sexual harassment by Shaikh, she went to her uncle's residence in the same area recently," Police Inspector Sitaram Phand told PTI.

When the victim refused to return home, her worried mother went to her brother's house along with Shaikh to bring her back, he said.

"The girl was adamant that she would not return home. This led to a heated argument between her mother and uncle and the matter was brought to the notice of police, which sent the girl to children's remand home in Dongri," he said.

"However, a routine physical check up at the remand home revealed that the victim suffered sexual abuse, following which the remand officials initiated an enquiry. When the officials pursued the girl, she revealed that she was raped by her stepfather since February," the officer said.

The girl claimed she was thrashed by Shaikh and threatened with dire consequences if she revealed the offence to anybody.

The matter was brought to the notice of Malwani police, which registered an FIR and launched a manhunt for Shaikh.

The accused has been booked under IPC sections 376 (rape), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act), 2012.

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