A 60-year-old businessman was arrested on Tuesday by the Mira Road Police for allegedly raping his daughters over an extended span of time. The elder girl, now 21, suffered in silence for nine long years. She finally mustered courage and blew the lid on the crime after her father turned on her sister, 15.
The mother of the girls has also been arrested as an accessory to the crime.
The case bears a sinister resemblance to that of Josef Fritzl in Austria, who confined his daughter to a cellar in his house for 24 years and repeatedly raped her, even fathering seven children. Fritzl is currently facing trial.
Police said the Mira Road couple was under the influence of a tantrik, Hasmukh Rathod, 60, who told them in July 2000 that the family would prosper if the father were to have a sexual relationship with his daughter, then 12.
By late evening, Rathod, a resident of Andheri, was also taken into custody. Locals, including neighbours of the couple, manhandled the tantrik in the police station.
The family (names withheld by the police), which hailed from Gujarat, resides in Phase I of Golden Nest on Mira-Bhayander Road. The businessman owns a unit in Andheri manufacturing radium plates for automobiles. Rathod was known to the couple for more than 20 years. Police said he, too, raped the elder daughter over a period of time, that too in her mother's presence.
In November 2008, Rathod encouraged the man to start a sexual relationship with his younger daughter. Till then, the elder girl had suffered in silence for fear of her father. But when he turned on her sister, she gathered courage and confided in her maternal uncle and grandmother, who complained to the police.
Senior inspector Mukund Mahajan said the matter is being investigated and the trio would be produced in court on Thursday.