Jharkhand couple accused of torturing ‘slave’
Police have registered a case against a former top official of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and his wife for allegedly keeping a minor boy as “slave” and subjecting him to cruelty in their home in the Jharkhand capital.india Updated: Dec 17, 2014 01:18 IST
Police have registered a case against a former top official of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and his wife for allegedly keeping a minor boy as “slave” and subjecting him to cruelty in their home in the Jharkhand capital.
An FIR was lodged at the Doronda police station on Monday evening following a complaint by Ranchi Child Welfare Committee (CWC) which rescued the nine-year-old boy on December 6.
Police said that the case against former IMA secretary Shekhar Choudhary and his wife Lalita -- who is also a medical practitioner -- have been filed under section 370 of the IPC and section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act. The couple is in their mid-fifties.
Sources in Ranchi CWC said the boy was rescued in a naked state from a Ranchi locality with cuts on his lips and scars on face and hands.
CWC officials quoted the minor as saying during counseling that he was made to work for long hours and beaten up with a stick for minor faults.
The boy, who hails from Rourkela in Odisha, was in the care of Ghagadih observation home in Jamshedpur before being handed over to the couple.
Choudhary, however, denied the charges and said that the boy was mentally-challenged and was “cooking up stories”.
“We brought him here from Jamshedpur as he needed foster care and parental attention. We had started giving him tuitions and were also planning to send him to school,” he said.
Jaya Moitra, inspection committee member of the Ghagadih observation home said she had visited the couple’s home twice on October 23 and November 19 to inquire about the boy and found nothing amiss.
However, Ranchi CWC chairperson Jahan Ara questioned the observation home’s decision of handing over the child to the couple when his parents were alive.
“Why did they not try and find his parents? I think they are trying to save each other,” she said.
It was, however, not known how the boy arrived in Jamshedpur from his hometown.
Investigating officer Ramdev Ram Ravi said police was trying to ascertain facts before proceeding with the case.