NGOs to help record molestation statement

To strengthen the case against a 70-year-old priest arrested for allegedly molesting and filming a 13-year-old girl from Shivaji Nagar, Mumbai Police will record her statement in the presence of NGOs that work with victims of sexual abuse.

Niyad Ansari was arrested Thursday for allegedly making a compromising video of the girl who takes Arabic lessons at the dargah in Shivaji Nagar where he serves. The priest allegedly blackmailed the girl into submission threatening to make the clip public.

The matter came to light after Ansari lost his phone and another man living in the area found it. He showed the clip to the father of the girl, who approached police.

Sources said police want to handle the case sensitively and also ensure the victim does not change statement or withdraw out of shame or intimidation.

"The victim is being counselled by some NGOs. The NGOs will later be made witnesses in the case," said additional commissioner of police Quaiser Khaleed. "We are also conducting inquiries at the dargah and in nearby areas to check if Ansari has similarly exploited other girls," he said.

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