“Every time he saw a police jeep, he would get excited and salute… It was his dream to become a police officer. He was nice to everyone and trusted his friends, but they betrayed and tortured him to death,” alleged the mother of the 11-year-old boy, who succumbed to injuries at Lok Nayak hospital on Saturday morning, nearly two weeks after he was allegedly sexually assaulted by three minor boys, in Northeast Delhi.
According to the family, he was sodomised, hit with bricks, and pushed from the terrace of a house. The incident that occurred on September 18-19 came to light after the boy fell sick on September 22 and confided in his mother.
“When he told me what had happened, I recorded it on my phone. I didn’t know those were his last words. He fell unconscious soon after he was admitted (at the hospital). I want the boys to be punished severely,” said the mother, a domestic worker.
At the hospital, a senior doctor said the boy developed septicaemia and his intestines were perforated. He also suffered a cardiac arrest.
The boy was the youngest of six children in the family, which lives in a small one-room house. Four of his siblings are married. The boy and his twin sister were alone at home because their parents were mostly away at work.
“My boy would go to school every day, come back and do homework and attend tuition… Though we never forced him to study, he fell into a disciplined routine. His teachers always praised him during PTAs, and we were so proud,” said his father, a labourer, as he looked at his son’s belongings in the room.
The 11-year-old loved playing hide and seek, ludo and ‘chor-police’ with his sister and friends. He had known the accused for years. “He talked a lot about his school, friends, food… He was into online gaming and cartoons on YouTube. He would take my phone and play games whenever he could. I remember seeing him when he was injured after the incident. He said he fell on his own and lied. I wish he had not,” said his cousin.
His mother alleged that the accused had targeted the boy in the past as well. “We confronted the boys later and they said… it was part of a game… My son never did anything wrong to deserve this…,” she said.
Meanwhile, two juveniles had been apprehended in connection with the case but were released by the Juvenile Justice Board after their parents signed an ‘undertaking’. The accused were temporarily released on grounds of age and insufficient medical evidence. Under Section 12 of the JJ Act, any child under the age of 16 can be released (both bailable and heinous offences) given the case background.
“They were released because the victim was not able to record a statement before the magistrate and medical reports couldn’t confirm sexual assault. There is a video shot by the mother, but it can’t be used as incriminating evidence. The accused are aged 12 and 13. On October 6, there will be court proceedings where the investigating officer will show the victim’s post-mortem report,” said a source.