Officials from the Nehru Nagar police station in Kurla arrested a 22-year-old man yesterday for raping a three-and-a-half-year-old girl. The incident had taken place on April 9, but the girl’s family registered a case only yesterday, as the 22-year-old was their landlord’s son and they feared that they would be evicted.
According to the police officials, Praveen Balote allegedly raped the girl on April 9, when her parents were not in the house. “The girl’s family resided on the mezzanine floor of the ground-plus-one-storey structure, while the landlord and his family lived on the ground floor.
The girl’s parents were out of the house and she was playing in the veranda. The accused, who was alone at his residence, took the girl inside on the pretext of playing with her and raped her,” said an officer from the Nehru Nagar police.
After the incident, the girl went back to her residence and complained about pain in her private parts, but the parents did not suspect anything amiss, thinking that she must have pulled a muscle while playing. However, when the pain increased, the family rushed her to a local doctor on April 11. Medical examination revealed that the child had been raped.
“Upon learning of their child’s ordeal, the girl’s family began looking for a house immediately. They lodged the complaint only after shifting to a new house as they feared that they would have nowhere to stay if they were evicted,” the official added.
Senior Inspector Suresh Bhavar from Nehru Nagar police station confirmed Batole’s arrest and said that he was booked under relevant sections of the IPC as well as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. Batole was produced in court yesterday and remanded in police custody.