Harassed and tortured, a 10-year-old rape victim was so incoherent in her narration of the horror she went through that the Nigadi police could make no headway in the investigation of the case. The police finally achieved a breakthrough when the alleged tormentor of the girl walked into the police station to lodge a missing complaint and aroused their suspicion.
The man, who was the employer of the girl, was soon arrested for the offence. Identified as Chandrabhan Gupta, a wholesale vegetable vendor, the accused was arrested by the Nigadi police on the basis of the complaint filed by the 10-year-old girl. According to the girl, she was repeatedly raped by Gupta from August.
The victim's mother, who works as a daily wages labourer in Madhya Pradesh, had sent her daughter to work at Gupta's residence at Dattanagar in Akurdi. The girl had been brought to the police station by some slum dwellers who found her in a grievously injured state on January 17. As the police made enquiries with her, the girl could barely narrate what had happened. Considering her state, the police first admitted her to Sassoon hospital, where her medical report revealed that she had been raped repeatedly and brutally assaulted.
Police Sub-Inspector R P Deshmukh, a woman officer who is investigating the case, said, "For 15 days the girl kept on telling us that some person from Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh had accompanied her to Pune, making us believe that she was raped in MP and we registered a rape complaint and transferred it to MP. "We transferred the girl to an observation home on January 23, and the next day Chandrabhan Gupta came to us to lodge a missing complaint.
"Gupta shared the contact number of the girl's mother for our reference. We suspected that he had an inkling that the girl had come to us." The Nigadi police then contacted the girl's mother in Khandwa, asking her to come to the city. Only after her mother had reached the city did the girl narrate her tale of harassment to the Nigadi police.
She told them she was repeatedly raped by Gupta from August. "Unable to bear the trauma, the girl finally ran away from Gupta's custody. She was brought to our notice by some local slum dwellers," Deshmukh said. Sources said Gupta, who has five daughters, had employed the victim to take care of his two toddler daughters. Allegedly, he made her do all the household work and when his wife would step out to buy groceries, he would rape her.
The girl reportedly tried to seek help from Gupta's wife, but she too beat her up and threatened her with unpleasant consequences if she did not keep mum. The victim's 12-year-old brother is also employed in the city at a roadside tea stall.