Goa child branded in anganwadi, probe ordered

Panaji: The Goa government on Monday launched a probe after a three-year-old boy's cheek was branded with a red-hot iron ladle by an anganwadi worker because he was constantly crying and wanted to meet his mother.

The gory incident occurred on April 13 when the anganwadi worker touched a red-hot iron ladle to the child's cheek. The burn has left a wound, which was medically examined by the authorities after the delayed FIR was registered.

Women and Child Development Minister Dilip Parulekar told IANS that Shonali Panchal has been suspended from anganwadi and that a first information report has been filed against her and the teacher at the anganwadi in Camurlim village, 15 km north of Panaji.

"It is a shocking incident. But we have taken prompt action. My CDPO (Child Development Protection Officer) is filing a report to my office on Tuesday. We will take the strictest action possible. An FIR has already been filed," he said.

Sources said the child's father, a casual labourer, had tried to lodge a complaint at the Mapusa police station, but it remained under wraps for several days. "The FIR was registered only after intervention by NGOs, whose officials on April 17 accompanied the complainant to the Mapusa police station," a police official said on condition of anonymity.

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