Mumbai: Uttan couple starved and abused 9-year-old

Updated: Dec 13, 2019, 08:21 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

As police await forensic reports to confirm sexual assault, more horrific details emerge in the murder of Aurangabad girl

Prakash Rathod and Anita Rathod
Prakash Rathod and Anita Rathod

An investigation into the Uttan murder case has revealed that the nine-year-old girl's inability to do household work and use the western commode at her adoptive parents' residence led the man and his wife to strangulate her to death. Police said the accused would brutally assault her and not give her food and water whenever she wet the bed at night.

The Uttan police have arrested the woman, identified as Anita Rathod, while Prakash is still absconding. Police said that though they suspect the deceased girl was raped, the main accused's wife has denied the charge. While the girl's primary medical report suggests that she was strangulated to death, a forensic test of the viscera would reveal whether she was raped.

Brutal assault
Probe has revealed that Prakash brought the girl (his niece) home to enrol her in a school, but he forced her to do household chores. The couple would not give her food and water for hours. As she did not know how to use the commode, she would soil the toilet whenever she used it and sometimes would also unconsciously pee in her underwear while asleep. Every time she did this, the couple would brutally assault her.

Police sources said on the day of the incident (November 7), Prakash got furious when she again urinated in her underwear and wet the bed. He hit her and strangulated her to death. Then he kept the body inside a drum filled with a mixture of cement and concrete for four days. On November 12, he called his 22-year-old nephew Ashok Chavan from his native place and sought help to dispose of the body.

After Chavan came to Uttan, they hired a tempo on the pretext of transporting something home and dumped the drum at Kasara Ghat around midnight. After taking the girl with him a little before Diwali, Prakash was in touch with her mother for a month but later stopped all communication. The family could not reach him over phone either. The girl's mother then approached the Kannad rural police station, where she was asked to go to the Uttan cops. She filed a kidnapping complaint with the Uttan police on December 5. As the accused woman and Prakash's nephew were missing, the cops traced them to a relative's place in a village close to Pune with the help of CCTV footages. During inquiry, she confessed to the crime.

Viscera test
A police officer said, "We have arrested the accused woman Anita Rathod and nephew Akash Chavan. However, main accused Prakash is still at large. We have booked them under sections 301, 201 and 34 of IPC. Post-mortem report is awaited." Speaking to mid-day, assistant police inspector, Satish Nikam said, "The body was completely skinless when it was recovered. The medical report is inconclusive, hence the viscera has been sent for a forensic test, which will reveal whether she was raped. Accordingly, we will decide on the charges."'

Nov 7
Day the girl was murdered

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