Two days after a four-year-old girl was found abandoned near Mahalaxmi temple, the police are verifying whether or not she was sexually assaulted. On Saturday, on the basis of doctors’ opinion, Gamdevi police registered a case under sections of rape and unnatural offence. The case has been transferred to Arnala police in Palghar, who have written to the hospital authorities, seeking a conclusive report.
Superintendent of Police Manjunath Singe (Palghar) said, “There is confusion about whether the girl was sexually assaulted…we have written to the hospital authorities, asking for a conclusive report. We should get the reports in a day or two.” Initially, spotting swelling in parts of her body, doctors at Breach Candy hospital had suspected that the girl was subjected to sexual assault. Later, they realised that it could possibly be side effects of the poision that was allegedly administered to her. Forensic reports are awaited to assess the nature of poison she was administered, said police.
The girl’s mother said, “I spoke with the doctors at the hospital and they said there are no injuries suggestive of any sexual assault. The hospital director told me that the swelling could be due to poison too.” She added that her daughter did not claim she was assaulted. “I am waiting for final reports,” she said. On Saturday, the girl, in a semi-conscious state, was spotted near Mahalaxmi temple and rushed to a nearby Breach Candy hospital by a traffic constable.
The police had called the principal of her school. In the complainant, the principal stated, “In the presence of Gamdevi police, a doctor informed us that there are injury marks on her private parts and further said that she has been sexually assaulted.” By noon that day, the school authorities informed the victim’s parents about the incident. The mother said she had received a call from her husband who informed her that their daughter was missing from school. The girl studies in a private school in Virar in nursery section.
“I work in a private firm but that day I had taken a leave because I was unwell. The school told us that a woman (accused) had told school authorities that she was my daughter’s aunt and asked to meet her. Since she is our neighbour, my daughter knew her,” said the 30-year-old mother. The Gamdevi police nabbed the accused, Jyoti Kamble, from Virar and handed her over to the Arnala police.
Senior Inspector Keshav Naik at Arnala police station said, “Kamble, in her statement, said the father (of the child) forced her to abort her baby, twice. She realised that the child’s father only wanted to have a sexual relationship with her and didn’t intend to marry her. In order to hurt him, she planned to kill her (the girl) as he loves his four-year-old daughter.”
The girl’s condition has stabilised even as she remains admitted in the medical intensive care unit of the Breach Candy Hospital. Her lungs remain infected due to poisoning, said doctors. Treatment is currently being funded by the school administration. The mother has accompanied her daughter for the last two days in hospital. The girl managed to speak a few words on Sunday but her statement is yet to be recorded by the police.
The four-year-old, her mother said, does not remember the entire sequence of events, but has said that she drank something and fell unconscious. “Until I heard of my daughter’s admission at the hospital, I did not even know my husband was involved with some woman. Why was my daughter dragged into this?” she said. “My daughter usually does not go to any stranger. I don’t know why she accompanied that woman. That day, she had an oral examination at school,” said the mother.
She added that the girl’s school finishes by noon, but on March 31, she had left an hour early. When she did not report to the schoolbus, the school authorities realised that she was missing. The mother also blamed the school authorities for allowing the child to leave with a stranger. “They should have called us to confirm if our relative has gone to pick her,” she said.