2 Balgram employees held

Nearly two months after the death of seven-year-old Kalyani Gite, who drowned on August 2 at Balgram SOS Children’s Village in Yerawada, local police have arrested two employees of the establishment for negligence leading to the death of the girl.

Mysterious death: Balgram SOS Children’s Village in Yerawada. Pic/KrunalL Gosavi

Meanwhile, dissatisfied with the sluggish pace of the investigation, Kalyani’s aunt Sharada Wanve has asked for the case to be handed over to CBI. Wanve claims that her niece’s death was no accident, but a murder.

MiD DAY had reported on August 6 (“7-yr-old girl ‘drowns’ a day before deposing in mom’s murder case”) how Kalyani’s post mortem report indicated the victim died due to drowning, and there was presence of water in her lungs.

In a recent development in the case, on the basis of an application submitted by Child Welfare Committee member Anita Vipat, Yerawada police filed a complaint against three persons — Sukhada Ramchandra Dandekar, Preeti Manish Gawande and Vandana Balu Pote, all employees of Balgram — for negligence, which led to the death of Kalyani.

Cops claimed that the trio ignored the fact that Kalyani was unwell since morning on the day prior to her death. Jadhav said that police are yet to arrest Gawande, who’s reportedly in Amravati. Gawande works as a counsellor at Balgram. “The two arrested were produced in court, and have been remanded in magisterial custody.”

Speaking to MiD DAY, Sharada Wanve said that police have not taken into account the post mortem report, and have merely believed the statements given by representatives of Balgram.  “A day prior to this incident, Kalyani’s younger brother had seen Datta Wanve loitering near Balgram,” she said.

Foul play?
Kalyani – along with her brother Rahul – was a prime witness in the murder of her mother, which took place on May 8 2012. The kids were sent to Balgram – a hostel system that takes in children from disturbed domestic circumstances – by the State Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on May 29, amid allegations that their father was involved in the crime. 

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