A child's primary protectors are her parents. But what if they are the ones who try to exploit her sexually, and when caught, try to hush up the matter?
That was what happened to a 14-year-old girl in Kurukshetra district's village Bahadurpura.
The parents had been pressurising the child to take up prostitution. When she refused, she was brutally battered. The matter came out one day when the girl's grandfather spotted her weeping.
Disgusted, he decided to approach the police.
On July 24, he took the girl to the police station in Pipli and filed a complaint.
"The child said her mother was trying to force her into prostitution and her father was supporting it," said superintendent of police Rakesh Arya.
In his complaint, her grandfather also said the girl had realized that her parents were running a brothel.
An FIR was registered. But on July 25, when they went to the village to investigate the matter, the police were in for a surprise.
No one was at home. Apparently, the entire family had decamped post haste. The police made another visit the next day, and this time, found the grandfather home.
"But the man denied everything," said Malkit Singh, station house officer, Thanesar Sadar, Pipli. "He said his son used to get drunk and beat up the child, so in his anger, he had made wild accusations."
Moreover, the child had been sent off to Nalvi, a village 10 km away, to stay with relatives.
The police, though, are yet to give up. They have not ruled out the possibility of the parents putting pressure on the grandfather to hush him up.
"We will visit Nalvi and try to get in touch with the girl," said Singh.