'I suspect police are trying to save Balgram officials'

Hours after Yerawada police got out of its head trip, and arrested two employees of Balgram SOS Children’s Village, Sharada Wanve – the aunt of seven-year-old Kalyani Gite, who died under puzzling circumstances at the establishment – made it clear that the cops would have to do more to earn the trust of the victim’s family.

Speaking up: Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe met Sharda Wanve (right), aunt of Kalyani Gite, who died in August at Balgram. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

Sharada, whose sister Shobha Gite was murdered in May 2012, suffered another blow when her niece, who was a prime witness in the case, also died in August this year. Kalyani’s demise has doubtlessly weakened the murder case, and Sharada is also concerned about her nine-year-old nephew who is living with her now, as no institution has come forward to accept him owing to security concerns.

The complainant, who is a postgraduate, has no source of income and is finding it challenging to support the boy and arrange money to fight two litigations.
“I am worried about my nephew’s education. No institute is prepared to take him, as he too is a key witness in the case of his mother’s murder, in which five – including his father – are prime suspects.

Despite a year and a half having passed, police are yet to make any arrests,” Sharada told MiD DAY. She added that when her sister was found drowned in a well, local police had only registered a case of accidental death, ignoring the injury marks on her body. The case was reopened following a writ petition in Bombay High Court. Kalyani and her brother had reportedly witnessed the continuous torture their mother was subjected to prior to her death.

Sharada added that Yerwada police had not intimated her before registering a case of negligence against three employees of Balgram for failing to provide proper medical care even after knowing that Kalyani was unwell. She has refused to buy the narrative offered by Balgram and said that the girl died of drowning and not due to asphyxiation.

“Cops purposely avoided me and went ahead with lodging a complaint. If they had informed me, I would have stood firm on my stand and asked them to probe what led to Kalyani’s death,” Sharada said. “I am extremely disappointed with the course of investigation, and I suspect that police are trying to save management of SOS Balgram,”
she added.

Divisional commissioner promises help
Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe, who has taken up this issue, met divisional commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh yesterday. Deshmukh has assured Sharada that he would look into the matter and would also help her in finding a safe institute to ensure her nephew receives education. 

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