Avinash Balu Sonawane (13) accused 60 year-old Rashid Sayyed, along with his two brothers, of stripping and beating him with a heated iron rod on Friday. They allegedly hit his genitals, face and right arm because they suspected him of stealing Rs 8,000 from Sayyed’s slum. He is now admitted to Sion Hospital.
The boy was assaulted around 5 am and was then locked up in a tiny room from 7 am to 6.30 pm. During this time, the accused allegedly blackmailed his family for money.
Sayyed has been arrested by the Deonar police and charged with wrongful restraint and assault.
The teenager had stayed over at Sayyed’s house the previous night to celebrate a Muslim festival, Laylat al-Baraat, along with his family. Sayyed and his two brothers jolted Sonawane awake with accusations of stealing money from their house. After the boy denied those accusations, a vehement Sayyed allegedly heated an iron rod and hit the boy on his genitals severely scarring his inner thighs and buttocks.
The boy’s mother, Shanti Sonawane (30), a domestic worker, said, “I left for work at 6 am as usual but when I returned home at around 6.30 pm, my neighbours told me that Avinash was locked up in a room since 7am and was brutally beaten up.”
“My mother went several times to Rashid’s house begging him to let go of my son but he not only blackmailed her, but also my 15 year-old daughter. He kept demanding money — first Rs 8,000 and then Rs 15,000. Around 6.30 pm he finally let my son go after my mother pleaded with him for a long time,” she added.
Sonawane’s neighbour, Aslam Hussain Raja-Sheikh, rushed him to Govandi’s Shatabdi Hospital after lodging a complaint with Deonar police station. “We were told to transfer him to Sion Hospital as his condition was very bad. We reached Sion hospital at around 8.30 pm,” said Aslam.
A case was registered against Sayyed under sections 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the IPC.
Prahlad Panaskar, senior inspector of Deonar police station said, “The victim is recuperating at Sion Hospital. The accused Rashid has been arrested and will be produced in court after being booked under relevant sections of IPC.”