Malwani police arrested a 23-year-old woman from Malad (West) on Wednesday night for allegedly torturing her four-year-old niece.
Police said Puja Chatterjee of Kolkata was in the care of her maternal grandfather after she lost her parents three years ago. The grandfather later handed over her custody to his daughter Anita Tharal,who lives with her husband and two children.
Puja had been staying with Tharal in Mumbai for the past three years. Since Tharals financial condition was not good she had spoken to neighbours about giving the girl to an NGO or an orphanage for adoption, said Abdul Rauf Shaikh,senior inspector at Malwani police station.
Navyog Samajseva Sanstha,an NGO in Malad (East),approached Tharal with the proposal to hand over Puja to a childrens home.
After the NGO took Pujas custody on Wednesday,she narrated her horror to one of its worker,Mohammed Kapadia. She said Tharal would beat her up and burn her with a candle.
Kapadia then took the girl to Malwani police station and filed a complaint. Tharals neighbours told us the girl did not go out to play. Puja told us Tharal would assault her regularly, said Kapadia.
She (Tharal) was arrested under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and presented before court on Thursday. She has been granted bail. Medical examination confirmed Pujas body bore candle burn and other injury marks, Shaikh said.