Officials of the Dehu Road police station have come under heavy criticism for allegedly turning down a 15-year-old’s plea to register a complaint of domestic violence against her husband and in-laws. In addition, they allegedly asked the girl to go back to her husband’s home, and gave her Rs 20 for medical treatment.
Local Child Rights Activists have now demanded action against the officials. According to the complainant, unable to bear the physical torture she was being subjected to on a regular basis, the girl ran away from her in-laws residence at Kalekhadak in Wakad on June 26. She first went to Dehu Road Railway Station where she accidentally met social Nasima Maniyar. The victim had approached Maniyar asking her for a job. On close observation Maniyar realised that the victim, who was crying bitterly, had been beaten mercilessly.
Nasima, who was with her relative Anis Khan, consoled the victim and coaxed her to tell her story. Based on the victim’s narration, Mainyar asked her to lodge a police complaint at Dehu Road police station. The girl was accompanied to the police station by a couple of Maniyar’s colleagues. However, the trio was in for a rude shock when the Dehu Road police officials, instead of registering a complaint against the victim’s husband and in-laws, asked her to get back to her in-laws home. In addition, one of the constables even gave the victim Rs 20, alleged Maniyar.
To confirm that the victim was badly beaten, Maniyar then took her to Dr Yamini Adbe, a medical professional and a Human Rights activist, for a check up on June 26. “There were several marks on her body, including her private parts, which clearly indicated that she was being brutalised frequently,” Dr Adbe said.
Dr Adbe then approached Child Rights Activist Anuradha Sahasrabudhhe of Childline, who suggested her to present the minor before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). Maniyar, along with a colleague, presented the victim before the CWC yesterday. After hearing the girl’s case, CWC member Anita Vipat ordered that the girl to undergo medical examination at Sassoon Hospital following which she would be sent to the observation home.
“Stringent action should be taken against the policemen who advised the girl to go back to her husband and in-laws home while ignoring her pleas for help and protection from them,” Anuradha Sahasrabudhhe said. Advocate Supriya Kothari of Bhagini helpline, an NGO that provides legal help to women facing harassment from in-laws or others, seconded Sahasrabudhhe’s opinion.
“Police should have sent her for medical test. If the tests proved that she was underage, then the cops should have had immediately booked her husband, in-laws and her parents, under relevant sections of the Child Marriage Act. In addition, under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act 2005, if the victim is unable to narrate the trauma, then anyone on its behalf can apply for protection of the aggrieved person, either to the First Class Magistrate, or at the police station,” Kothari said.
The other side
Senior Police Inspector Ram Jadhav of Dehu Road police station said officials may have given money for her medical treatment. When questioned about why the officials asked her to go home instead of registering a complaint, he said, “Just because the girl is saying that she’s a minor, it cannot be accepted, we need proof.” When informed that some social workers had witnessed the incident, he demanded that they be sent to the police station, as he would like to hear the exact details of the June 26 incident from them.