Man wanted for 13 years in 6 child abuse cases held

An alleged paedophile, who had been making weekly visits to the Capital for the past 13 years preying on children, has been arrested.

Sunil Rastogi, a tailor from Rudrapur town on the UP-Uttarakhand border, has been named in at least six cases of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault on children, said the police.

“He mainly targeted those girls whose parents did nor accompany them on their way to school or home and then took them with himself on different pretexts, always looking for a secluded place to sexually assault them,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Omvir Singh Bishnoi.

Three recent cases were reported in east Delhi’s New Ashok Nagar — one on December 13 and two others on January 12 — where he allegedly targeted girls aged between seven and 10 years.

“In the first case, he told the girl that her father had sent him to pick her up. He then took her to an isolated under-construction building, where he sexually assaulted her,” said Mr. Bishnoi.

The man’s image was, however captured on a CCTV camera on the building’s premises.

The initial clues that the police gathered pointed to the involvement of a habitual offender.

His details were tallied with that of some criminals who had been recently released.

But even as the police were in the process of narrowing down the list, the second incident happened.

On January 12, Rastogi tried to abduct a 10-year-old girl outside the government school where she studies.

As the girl cried for help, he fled, but his next stopover was another government school, barely a kilometre away from the first.

“The second victim, too, raised an alarm, forcing Rastogi to flee,” said Mr. Bishnoi.

Based on technical surveillance and the versions of the victims, the police then identified Rastogi.

“When the three incidents happened, Rastogi was out on bail in a Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act,” said Mr. Bishnoi.