Deepak Tijori relives horror of daughter's abduction
His 13-year-old was kidnapped on May 10
After his 13-year-old daughter was kidnapped and returned home, actor-turned-director Deepak Tijori (pictured left) is traumatised and bent on government taking action against perverse elements and shady hotels in Mumbai.
"Such things always happen to others. Unless it happens to you, you don't know how it feels. Ever since it happened on Sunday (May 10) evening my wife and I have been in shock but running to the cops to get them to take drastic action. People have chosen to misconstrue and misrepresent what we've gone through," Deepak told IANS.
He says it all happened in daylight in one of the busiest area of the city.
"It's amazing that a stranger could just pick up my child at 4.45 p.m. in a city as busy and supposedly efficient as Mumbai. It's unheard of! At that hour Lokhandwala, where the incident happened, buzzes with hyper activity. It happened at a shopping centre in Lokhandwala where my daughter was with a friend. The friend was threatened to keep out. Even she is totally traumatised and guilt-ridden about why she didn't raise an alarm.
"My wife Shivani had gone with the two girls for lunch. On the way back she left them for 15 minutes at the shopping centre for window shopping. How could a stranger have the audacity to take my daughter away? The guy didn't know whose daughter she was. Luckily, for us Samara was returned to us physically unharmed, never mind the mental trauma," he said.
The kidnapper took Samara to a hotel called Mantra Residency and Deepak says such pokey hotels in Madh Island should be closed down.
"What about those vulnerable Samaras out there in Mumbai who never return or return damaged for life? I just want to say one thing - stop these pokey hotels where such things are allowed to happen. The hotel where that mother f***** took my poor little child must be privy to these goings-on. The hotel knew Samara was 13. They could see she was a child. They still gave a room to that pervert.
"Fortunately for us, because Samara was crying and pleading, the b*****d let her go. But does anyone know what my wife and I went through for those four hours until our daughter came home? Do they know what Samara went through?"
The kidnapper dropped Samara home and threatened Deepak of dire consequences.
"The monster actually had the guts to drop my daughter back and threaten her father and family with dire consequences before leaving her. He was basically a jerk who thought he'd do things with my daughter. But because she was howling he dropped her back home.
"Tell me, how could the b****y hotel Mantra Residency let in a man forcing a crying child into their premises? All these shady hotels in Madh Island must be raided.
"My blood freezes to think how much perversion must be going on in there. My wife and I were unable to sleep even after our child was returned. What if he had harmed her physically? What about those innocent girls who are taken to these hotels? Rooms are let out without asking any question and without even registering the names of the guests!
Do you know the man at the counter took extra money from my daughter's kidnapper and gave him a room without registering his name! I'm grateful to god for sparing my daughter," he said.
On Monday afternoon Samara was finally able to give her statement to the police, says Deepak. He also said that the kidnapper tried to intimidate his daughter by taking away her cell phone and slapping her.
"But the thought of such hotels functioning in Mumbai is nauseating. Do your business. But please don't sell away the lives of 13 year olds for a mere Rs.800. Rooms are let out for half an hour and 45 minutes. What's going on? Is this what we've come to?
"The scariest part is, this kidnapper intimidated my daughter into getting into an autorickshaw by taking away her phone and slapping her. What was the rickshawallah guy thinking? And then he took her to the hotel, illegally booked a room and walked out of the back entrance that can only be known to regular visitors."
Deepak says that the cops were not at all cooperative.
"I took my daughter back to the hotel with the cops. The Mantra Residency people are now going to the extent of threatening us. But I don't care. Our citizens need to be protected against such hotels. These places need to be closed down. How many teenagers must have been ruined in these dens of vice? Now after what has happened to my child our friends are afraid to let their children out of sight.
"Why isn't the law taking the situation as seriously as it warrants? Why hasn't the hotel staff been grilled when my daughter has identified the hotel and the hotelier has admitted by daughter was brought to his place?
"Instead the cop was protecting the hotel manager. What-all must be going in that hotel! I'm proud of my child for being so brave. It could've damaged her forever. But this racket needs to be busted. I seriously want a Taliban-like punishment for the kidnapper. Behead him in front of all the parents whose children he must have messed around."
Tijori directed the 2005 film "Fareb" starring Shilpa Shetty and Shamita Shetty.
Indo-Asian News Service
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