A nine-year-old girl who walked away from her home after being ill-treated by her aunt has refused to return to her kin, saying that she prefers to stay on at the children’s home where she has been sent.
She has told the police that her aunt repeatedly physically assaulted her. According to police officials, the victim Sonu (name changed) walked out of her aunt’s residence on Friday after being shouted at by her. She landed up at Mulund railway station, where a few GRP officials spotted her and took her to their main office at Kurla station.
According to the Kurla GRP officials the girl was visibly upset and couldn’t say anything besides her own name.Meanwhile, her family members lodged a missing complaint with Mulund police station. On Saturday, when Constable Sanjay Jadhav of Crime Branch Unit VII was making customary phone calls to several police stations, he learnt that the Kurla GRP had found a young girl wandering near the Mulund railway station.
Jadhav said, “I was checking police stations to see whether any crimes had occurred in their jurisdiction, when I was informed that a child had been found but the officers were unable to locate her home. After I disconnected the call, it struck me that her name was the same as the child who had gone missing from Mulund on Friday. I informed the Mulund police officials right away.” The Kurla GRP officials had sent the girl to Mankhurd children’s home on Friday evening.
On Monday, when Sonu’s uncle and aunt were told where Sonu was, they headed to Mankhurd to take her back home. They found Sonu playing happily with the other kids at the children’s home. Sonu refused to go with her relatives and refused to speak to them.
Burnt and beaten
Cops later revealed that the child had confided that she was happier at the home and did not want to return to her home as her aunt thrashed her often. She even showed a burn mark on her hand, which she said her aunt was responsible for. The aunt, however, said that the child hurt herself while trying to warm some milk. The child also showed a swelling on her head.
The police have contacted the child’s parents, who are the residents of Uttar Pradesh. They have been asked to come to the city and take back their daughter after producing documents. The nine-year-old was brought to the city from UP two years ago for her studies, but she says that she was never sent to school at all. Her aunt has claimed that Sonu was reluctant to go to school. Investigating officer in the case, Assistant Police Inspector C L Ravrane said that an enquiry is underway about the treatment meted out to her by her aunt.