MUMBAI: The police have arrested 22-year-old Rohit Mandal on charges of kidnapping and raping a 14-year-old girl in Bandra.

The victim's mother said her daughter had been kidnapped and raped earlier by another youngster, but the police closed the case because of lack of evidence.

The mother also contended that if the police had investigated the first case, the second incident would not have happened.

The woman said her daughter was first kidnapped on May 3. When the girl did not return home till late in the night, the woman lodged a missing person complaint with the Bandra police. Later, she learnt that a boy from the neigbourhood was also missing. "The police refused to entertain the complaint after which I filed a writ petition in the Bombay high court, which directed the police to investigate (the matter). The cops then registered a case of kidnapping," she told TOI.

On May 18, the victim was traced and she narrated her ordeal. "Following allegations of biased investigation by the lawyer of the accused, the court directed that the case be transferred to the Juhu police for further investigation. However, the cops closed the case.

Deputy commissioner of police (Zone 9) Pratab Dighavkar said: "In the first case, when the doctor examined the victim, she did not complain about rape and even the medical report did not support the rape theory." He also denied the allegations that the police did not try to trace the accused for the entire period when the girl was missing.

On November 7, the victim went missing again. The woman learnt that another neighbourhood boy, Mandal, had allegedly kidnapped her.

On her complaint, the police booked Mandal for kidnapping and rape, said advocates Suhail Sheriff and Sana Baugwala, representing the mother.

Sheriff said the second incident would not have happened had the police investigated the first case. "It would have sent a strong message in the area," he added.

The police also registered a case against political activist Tauffik Zahir Khan for allegedly issuing threats to ensure that a complaint was not lodged.

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