Airport police yesterday registered a case against the father and stepmother of a five-year-old boy on charges of inflicting burns on his hands and legs, and also thrashing him with a stick over four days. The kid’s crime: wetting his bed.
Police arrested the stepmother, Manju Gupta (35), a resident of Ovhal Vasti in Lohegaon, around 9.30 am yesterday. She was produced in Shivajinagar District and Sessions Court in the afternoon, after which she was remanded in magistrate’s custody.
The boy’s father Vijaykumar Gupta – a labourer – is still absconding. A case for punishment for cruelty to juvenile has been registered against the duo under sections 41 and 23 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 1986 and 2000 respectively, and also other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. Social activist Sachin Shivaji Khandve (38) from Lohegaon has filed this complaint.
According to the complaint, Tuesday evening Khandve got a call from Deepa Vishal Ovhal, neighbour of Gupta, who told him that the couple were beating their son and he was crying loudly.
Khandve and his friend Shashikant Saste went to the house and found Manju sitting next to the boy, who was beaten black and blue, and had injuries on his limbs. Khandve immediately took the boy to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Over the past year, since the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act was passed, 19 cases of child abuse have been reported at different police stations in the Pune police commissionerate jurisdiction. The Act came into force on November 14, 2012, after which till February 28, 2013 not a single complaint was registered with Pune police under sections of this Act.
From March to June 2013, 19 cases were recorded, out of which investigation in only one case is pending, while chargesheets have been filed in others. 8 accused are in jail, one is in a remand home, and 13 are out on bail, says a recent police department report.
Airport police have recovered a plastic belt, a rope, and half-burnt pieces of wood used by the accused to assault the child. Police are still on the lookout for Vijaykumar and are yet to seize other items used to commit the offence, sub-inspector AN Shahane told the court. Unimaginable cruelty: Police have recovered a plastic belt, a rope, and half-burnt pieces of wood used by the accused to attack the boy.