A retired scientist has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing three minor girls, whom he had reportedly adopted, over the years, police said on Thursday.
Maqsood Ansari, 72, a former assistant scientist with National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) in Nagpur, was nabbed on Wednesday following a complaint by the eldest girl, aged 16, who told police that she was "exploited" since she was in Class I and the accused had also offered to marry her.
Another girl's age is around 11 years, while the youngest one is six-and-half-years-old, the complaint said, adding the accused has been allegedly exploiting the trio over the years and threatened them.
Dhantoli police arrested Ansari last evening and charged him with rape and under provisions of Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Ansari, who was married at least twice but could not father a biological child, had apparently adopted the girls at a tender age on the pretext of bringing them up and educate them, police said.
Neither of Ansari's two wives stayed with him.
The accused had been forcing himself upon the girls regularly, they said.
After the eldest girl approached an NGO through a friend's family, the victims were rescued from their residence at Ajni Square on Wardha road by Zonal DCP Deepali Masirkar and shifted to a government shelter, sources said.
"An NGO is providing means for the girls to continue with their schools. Police will probe how the girls were adopted," Masirkar said.
"Police could not find any adoption documents while searching the house and the accused too is not forthcoming about any legal information on the adoption," she said.