Police in Rajasthan have arrested the uncle and aunt of a seven-year-old girl for allegedly subjecting her to inhuman torture, officials said.
According to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that came to the rescue of the child staying with the accused in Rajsamand, she was made to do household work such as sweeping and cleaning, and was branded with hot iron rods or burnt with cigarettes for small mistakes.
Officials also said she was subjected to frequent beatings, her fingernails and toenails were uprooted, and chilli powder was inserted in her private parts.
Police said the child’s mother died a few years ago. Her father married again and relocated to Surat, leaving her at the mercy of her uncle and aunt.
On Friday morning, a video of the child being stripped and tortured surfaced on the social media.
After that, a team of Child Line, an NGO working for children, reached her village. Locals told the team that the child was regularly tortured by her relatives.
“…the police was informed…after which victim’s medical examination was conducted around 6.30 pm on the same day and a FIR was registered under relevant sections of IPC (Indian Penal Code) and POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. After the reports came, both the accused were arrested. While the uncle is around 40 years old, her aunt is in her thirties,” said Bhushan Bhuvan Yadav, superintendent of police (SP), Rajsamand.
A member of the Rajsamand Child Welfare Committee (CWC) said the girl was now staying with the NGO that first came to her rescue.
“The relatives used to beat her mercilessly on small mistakes. The child was not even given food on some occasions. Sometimes, the couple would also forcefully insert chilli powder inside the private parts of the victim…her nails of hands and legs were uprooted multiple times,” the CWC member said.
Sangeeta Beniwal, chairperson of the Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Right, too took cognisance of the matter. Beniwal has written a letter to the district authorities to provide medical and legal aid to the minor, and take strict action against the accused.