Mumbai Crime: Woman tortures and kills step-daughter in Bhandup; gets life imprisonment
The accused identified as Pratibha Sawant, a resident of Bhandup was sentenced to life imprisonment for mercilessly torturing and killing her 6-year-old mentally and physically disabled step-daughter daughter
A sessions court on Tuesday convicted and sentenced a 40-year-old woman to life imprisonment for torturing and killing her minor stepdaughter with physical and mental disabilities. The victim who was 6-year-old was found dead at her residence in Bhandup with burns and assault marks all over her body in 2015. The accused, Pratibha Sawant’s older stepdaughter informed the court about the merciless assault she and her sister were subjected to by their step-mother.
The accused's husband Rajesh Sawant sought the release of his wife stating they had a 4-year-old son who lived with his mother in jail. Following the conviction, the court granted the child’s custody to his father. Both the victim and her sister were Rajesh’s children from his first marriage after his first wife had left him. He then married Pratibha Sawant in 2013. Rajesh in his statement told the court that the victim was unable to perform any activities on her own due to her mental and physical disability and this annoyed the accused who had to take care of his children while he was at work plying his autorickshaw. He also stated that Pratibha would fight with him frequently and request him to send the child to an ashram.
He added, when he returned from work on November 29, 2015, he found both his daughters sleeping. He woke up the following morning and tried to wake the victim up to take her to the washroom. He then noticed that her body was stiff and cold. Afraid, he called their family doctor, who told him about the injuries on the victim's body and suggested to take her to a hospital. When they rushed her to the hospital, she was declared dead on arrival. When he and his family members questioned Pratibha Sawant about the incident, she confessed the crime but showed no remorse. A case was then registered with the Bhandup police.
The victim’s older sister who now lives with her biological mother told the court that the victim could walk only with support and the accused used to inflict burns on her hands, legs and even eyes. She also stated that their step-mother would prick the victim’s eyes with a pin, bang her head on things and not provide food to both the sisters. Among the other witnesses, a cop from Bhandup police station also stated that when he saw the victim's body, he noticed burn marks on her arms, fingers, feet, on the ears and below her eyes.
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