A 35-year-old man from Bhiwandi, who used his four-wheeler to ferry school children, was arrested for allegedly raping two minor girls for the last six months, police said on Sunday.
The accused, identified as Tulsiram Manere was held on Saturday night, Inspector SV Jadhav of Nizampura police station said.
The accused molested and raped the victims, aged around 8 to 9, on several occasions inside his SUV and also at some other secluded places in the past six months, the officer said. It is suspected that Manera might have sexually abused more number of girls travelling in his car and as of now only two have disclosed about the offence.
It was only after the teachers enquired with the parents of the victims about their absence from the school, the offence came to the light. “The two girls confided in their parents and told them about their sexual abuse. The parents then informed the school authority about it and subsequently a case was lodged by a teacher,” Jadhav said.
The accused has been charged under sections 376 (rape), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and under relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act-2012, he said, adding, further probe was on.