About a week after a 5-year-old girl became a rape victim, police arrested Manoj Shah, who rented a basement room below where a child disappeared on April 15. Shah faces charges of kidnapping his alleged victim.
The living conditions are described as dimly lit with cobwebs everywhere in the basement. It’s where the child was found three days after she disappeared. A neighbor heard her crying on Wednesday morning and raised the alarm after her mother had searched in vain in the neighborhood, residents said.
“She wasn’t able to sit properly so she had to lie down, she wasn’t able to walk,” said Kishan Chand, 22, who lives in the room next to the young girl’s family and says he saw the child before she was taken to hospital on Wednesday morning last week.
“She had blood stains on her throat,” he added.
Police alleged Shah kidnapped and raped the 5-year-old before locking her in the apartment and escaping to Bihar, a poor eastern state.
Many people in Gandhi Nagar came from Bihar looking for work, including Shah and the family of the rape victim. Shah allegedly fled to Bihar after the incident, where police arrested him. Authorities have not yet formally charged Shah. Attempts to reach him were not successful.
The steel door to the room residents identified as Shah’s was padlocked from the outside Monday. Two pairs of men’s jeans hung on a washing-line strung up against the chewing tobacco-stained wall outside.
The little girl lives one floor up from Shah with her mother and father, a construction worker from Bihar, and her younger brother, neighbors say.
The 5-year-old girl’s family lived in a room in the basement before moving up to the more-airy ground floor around six weeks ago, according to neighbors.