The police and the government
are clueless about the current whereabouts of the Martys. Their passports
are with the court and their victims are probably back on the streets of
C Inamdar, Additional Commissioner of Police, who handled the case, saya,
“During the period of a jail sentence, nobody can be granted bail.
They are still in the Pune prison.” But, the office of Prabhat Ranjan,
Inspector General, Prisons, Pune, confirms that they were out in May 2004.
Says Preeti Chandar of facse, “If they can get out of jail despite
such strong evidence against them, others can get away with worse.”
Back in Colaba, the spectre of Duncan Grant, a British paedophile, who lived
here for 12 years, haunts the Anchorage Shelter Home.
A few crusty flights of stairs lead to the entrance of the Home, set up
by Grant in 1995. The door opens to a large, sparse room with two beds,
clothes and many pairs of shoes strewn on the floor. Two boys sit glued
to an old TV. Clad in shorts and T-shirts, they have the typically scrubbed-clean
look. Dhanraj, a 15-year-old inmate, speaks English with a cultivated British
twang. He sports an expensive cell phone that constantly buzzes with calls
Eight years after the Home was set up, Grant was accused
of abusing the boys living in his shelter. He is absconding. Allen Johan
Water, a co-accused, was arrested in New York in November 2003, and is
soon going to be extradited from the us. Dhanraj speaks of Grant with
fondness. “Duncan doesn’t come here anymore. He hasn’t
called for the last three years. The police think he’s a dirty man
and don’t let him come to India. It’s a lie that he is a dirty
man. Someone is taking revenge on him,” he says.
Grant was not in India when 15-year-old Kranti Lodha, a frequent visitor
to the home, filed a complaint of sexual abuse against him. He has not
returned to Mumbai thereafter. Grant is a well-connected man in Britain.
He served the Royal Naval Reserve in the uk for 30 years before he came
to India. Soon after the allegations were levelled, Diana Hawkins, organiser
and fund-raiser at the uk office of the Anchorage Shelter was quoted as
saying, “If innocent, well-meaning people like Grant are accused
of such false crimes, people from Britain will stop doing charity work
in India.” Some influential people in India, such as Adi Dubhash
of Concern India Foundation, also defended Grant.
After the allegations came into light, ngos and activists followed up
the case. A breakthrough came when journalist Mehr Pestonji got an account
from Rasool, a boy at the Home, on tape in which he admitted having been
abused by Grant and Water. The catalyst in the breakthrough was, surprisingly,
Alan Denning, another British national and a suspected paedophile who
had lived in Goa. Sources reveal that Denning was seen in Goa with Rasool
and Zakir, both young boys. Zakir was also seen with another paedophile,
Theodor Willem Anema.
Denning was close to Grant, but later exposed him with the help of Sridhar
Naik, a close associate of Denning, who, according to police sources,
posed as Zakir and Rasool’s guardian. When contacted in Mumbai,
Naik said that he was no longer involved with the Home and that he knew
nothing about the whereabouts of Den- ning or Grant.
Tehelka’s investigation reveals that Naik who passes off as a social
worker is a procurer for paedophiles operating in Goa. Incidentally, Naik
helped two suspected paedophiles Anema and Denning to get children from
the Home. Naik just made an affidavit which simply stated, “I say
that I am guardian of Master Jakir Hasan (Zakir is spelt as Jakir). I
say that he was born on 13.12.1988 at Kolkata…I further declare
that the said child is not aware of his parents at present
he has no parents as he was found to me in helpless condition seeking
Then he proceeded to declare an undertaking in a stamped paper: “I
say that I am the guardian of Master Jakir Hasan…As such I have
sent him to Goa under further guardianship of Mr Theodoor Willem Anema…I
say I am a social worker and devoted my entire life for nourishment and
welfare of the orphan children who are parentless and seeking help for
their maintenance and livelihood.”