The Inside Story
Anonymous caller tips police about the torture going on at posh Kanjurmarg flat for 2 weeks.

The police have booked a 34-yearold woman from Kanjurmarg for assaulting and abusing her nineyear-old stepdaughter. An anonymous caller tipped the cops about the plight of the girl, resulting in her rescue on Sunday night.

The minor, who was being allegedly tortured for the past two weeks, is currently in the custody of the Child Welfare Committee. At the time of going to press, the woman was recording her statement at the Parksite police station.

The child lost her mother in 2012. But trouble started after her father, a senior official in a nationalised bank, remarried four months ago. The family lives in posh Gundecha Height housing complex in Kanjurmarg (West).

"A caller who did not wish to be identified informed the Social Service Branch about the alleged ill-treatment of the child. Considering the seriousness the tip-off, a team from SSB visited the flat and rescued the girl. Two women constables took her into confidence before asking her to narrate the ordeal," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Enforcement) Pravin Patil.

The young girl, who has over half a dozen pinch marks on her body, has told the police that her stepmother would beat her with a cloth hanger every now and then. The girl has told the police that her father would do nothing to restrain her stepmother.

A neighbour said that the girl had gone to a birthday party with swollen lips. "When we asked her about the marks, she refused to provide any details. We would often hear the girl screaming, but didn't interfere as it was their personal matter."

The girl's paternal grandparents, who used to live with in the Kanjurmarg apartment, left for their hometown soon after their son's remarriage, said another neighbour. "They were fed up with their constant fights with the woman in the house."

On Monday, the girl recorded her statement before a magistrate and underwent a medical test. The police then handed her over to the Child Welfare Committee to ensure her safety. The stepmother has been booked under Section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and relevant sections of the Juvenile Justice Act. If convicted, she could jailed up to three years.

The cops are exploring if her father can be booked for abetment as he apparently didn't do anything to stop his abusive wife. On Monday, his flat was locked and he didn't respond to repeated calls and SMSes.

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