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Thane: Father, his friend, rape 13-year-old; callous cops yet to file FIR

Cops yet to make arrest despite minor naming her father and his friend in her statement, which was recorded 14 days after she was admitted to KEM

Fathers protect their daughters from all evils, but for this 13-year-old Dombivli resident, her hero turned out to be the biggest scoundrel. Sexually exploited by her father and his friend, the survivor is currently recuperating at the rape crisis centre at the KEM Hospital since June 14. But her trauma is far from over as the accused are yet to be arrested and one of her distant aunts wants to send her back home.

Horror unfolds
The incident first came to light after the minor complained about severe pain in the lower abdomen, following which her grandmother rushed her to a nearby clinic. Sensing something major, the girl was referred to KEM. Following a thorough medical check-up, doctors asserted that the minor was sexually exploited. “She was not in a condition to talk due to the trauma she had experienced when she was first admitted to the hospital on June 14. But when her condition showed improvement in the last three days, her aunt started demanding discharge claiming that it was getting hectic for them to travel from Dombivli to Parel,” said a doctor.

Apathetic cops
While it has been a fortnight since the survivor was admitted to the hospital, cops are yet to take appropriate action in this matter. It was only yesterday that they met the girl for her statement. However, they managed to record only partial statement, as her health deteriorated. If this was not enough, they even failed to collect the forensic report from the hospital stating that the minor was raped.

“The survivor was rushed to the rape crisis centre on June 14 and on the same day, we made a report categorically mentioning that she was sexually abused. Despite this, the police have neither collected the report nor have they filed an FIR,” said a senior doctor from Forensic Medicine, KEM hospital. Speaking to mid-day, one of the doctors present in the room while the cops were recording the girl’s statement claimed that the survivor named her father and one of his friends as the accused.

Jurisdiction issues
When the case was first sent to the Manpada police station, its officers said the place of crime fell under the jurisdiction of the Ramnagar police station. Sub-inspector Vijay More from Manpada police station said, “The jurisdiction of the case falls under Ramnagar police station, so we asked them to take over the case.”

As per rules, a complaint has to be immediately filed by police who then investigate into the cases pertaining to sexual abuse. But officers from Ramnagar police station seem to be unaware of it. Speaking to mid-day, Sub-inspector LC Sonavale from Ramnagar police station said, “We are investigating the case and are awaiting the forensic report to file a complaint. Since the victim is not in a condition to record her statement, an FIR is yet to registered.”

When informed that the hospital has already prepared the report and is waiting for the police to collect it, Sonavale said, “We haven’t received any report from the hospital.” He then asked the correspondent to leave his office when she tried to probe further.

‘It’s false’
Contradicting Sonavale’s statement, a forensic expert who checked the girl said, “We examined the child on the day she was admitted to the hospital. There has been no delay from our part. In fact, a psychiatrist is counselling her daily to help her cope with the mental trauma she went through.”

Upon inquiring, one of the nurses claimed that she did spot the girl’s father on two occasions in the ward drunk. The hospital is also seeking help from NGO Rahat.

“Though the girl’s family is assuring that she will now be residing with her grandmother, there is no guarantee that her father will not repeat his heinous act. Hence we sought help from the NGO,” said one of the doctors.

Expert opinion
As per directives issued by all the high courts and the Supreme Court, police must immediately file an FIR in cases related to sexual abuse. In this particular case, they could have taken the opinion of the forensic experts who examined the child and filed an FIR. The name of the accused could have been added later once the girl was stable to give her statement. This is completely illegal.

— Shailesh Sadekar, HC lawyer

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