Raped and starved, missing girl returns five months later

Oct 17, 2011, 07:47 IST | Nivedita Dargalkar

After being found in a malnourished condition, the 14-year-old who had gone missing in May has resurfaced, to share the horrifying account of her ordeal

After being found in a malnourished condition, the 14-year-old who had gone missing in May has resurfaced, to share the horrifying account of her ordeal

Relatives and neighbours have been finding it difficult to console parents Rashida and Ayaz Shaikh (names changed) since Friday morning.

Ironically, the occasion that triggered off such grief was the recovery of their 14-year-old daughter Nadia Shaikh (name changed), who went missing from their Malad home on May 14 this year.

To hell and back: After five months, 14-year-old Nadia Shaikh has been
released from captivity; at half her earlier weight, she is both physically
and psychologically scarred

On Thursday night, Nadia was recovered in a pitiable condition from the same garden where she went missing five months back. But before her parents could rejoice over her return, they were shocked to hear of the unspeakable torment faced by Nadia at the hands of a beastly captor - a five-month-long hellish ordeal, in which she was subjected to the horrors of repeated rape, starvation and captivity.

Rashida said, "Some locals claim that they saw a rickshaw stop at the nearby garden, at midnight on Thursday. The girl was unceremoniously thrown out before it sped away. After laying unconscious in the garden all night, she was discovered by two locals who came for a morning walk."

"The women splashed water on Nadia's face, after which she managed to give them directions to my brother-in-law's house, which is located nearby," she added.

The two good samaritans then flagged a rickshaw down, and gave instructions to the driver to drop the girl at the address. Relieved, but alarmed at the girl's condition, Nadia's uncle immediately informed her parents. 
"After hearing from him, we rushed to his house. I was alarmed to see my daughter's frail, enervated condition. She has dwindled to half her size when she went missing. She was so weak that she can't even speak properly," said an inconsolable Rashida.

A hellish ordeal
When Nadia recovered enough to speak, she divulged the atrocities that she had faced in captivity. According to her account, she was taking a leisurely stroll in the same garden on May 14 at around 7.30 pm, when she was accosted by a young man, between 23 and 25 years of age. She claimed that the man struck up a conversation with her, and before she realised it, she was quite far from her locality. The abductor then offered her some food, which she accepted, only to fall unconscious after a few bites.

"When I came to, I found that I had been locked up in a shanty, in a place I was not familiar with. The kidnapper raped me repeatedly for the next three days. After this, he would frequent the room at intervals of four to five days, and force himself on me," said a visibly shattered Nadia.

She further added, "He used to give me food and water only when he came by for his visits. On one occasion, I went without any supplies for a week. When I asked him to let me out to visit the toilet for my daily ablutions, she unleashed his wrath upon me, and asked me to relieve myself inside the room itself."

Being deprived of food, water, light, sanitation, and subjected to the abductor's depravities, Nadia's health deteriorated rapidly, and soon she lost all strength to speak or even move -- a lifeless automaton.

"That's when the beast realised that he could no longer violate her, and since he had no more use of her, he decided to abandon her in the garden from where she had been picked up," said Rashida.

A traumatised Nadia is currently undergoing treatment at Bhagwati Hospital in Borivli.

"Medical investigations are in progress. She is stable, but is severely malnourished, and has lost significant muscle mass, as a result of extreme starvation. We are treating her for a number of starvation-related disorders," said Medical Superintendent C S Gawade from Bhagwati hospital.

Apathetic cops
The Khans have approached the Malwani police to nab and punish their daughter's abductor, but don't repose much faith in officials who failed to recover their lost daughter.

"I am miffed with the Malwani police. They showed no initiative in finding my daughter when we had first approached them in May. On the contrary, they blamed us for not taking care of our daughter. Had they taken speedy action and found her, she wouldn't have undergone such unmentionable physical and mental torture," lamented Rashida.

"The cops only questioned a few people, but carried out no thorough investigations to locate my daughter. How is it that they didn't find a single clue in five months?" said Nadia's father Ayaz.

Senior Police Inspector Abdul Rauf Shaikh from the Malwani police station said, "My officers have investigated the leads and recorded the statements of the suspected kidnappers mentioned by the girl's parents. If the girl's family feels that my officers did not conduct adequate investigation, I will look into the matter. Once she
recovers from the trauma, we will record her statement and carry out fresh investigations to nab the culprit."

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