7-yr-old's father, stepmom flee | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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7-yr-old's father, stepmom flee

mumbai Updated: Feb 04, 2012 00:44 IST
Puja Changoiwala

While seven-year-old Menaka Thakur is in the hospital, recuperating from the injuries inflicted on her by her stepmother, the child's father, Sumit, seems to have fled from his residence in Dharavi.

Menaka's stepmother Aarti, who was arrested on Wednesday and released on bail the next day, is also missing.

"Sumit, Aarti, and their two daughters have shifted to an unknown location because they do not want to face the repercussions of the case," said Vishwanath Shelar, assistant inspector, Dharavi police station.

The police said they suspected that the family had moved to a relative's place.

"As of now, we do not have any leads about their location. We are questioning their neighbours. They will be located soon," said Shelar.

One of Sumit's neighbours said he was hiding in a hutment in the slums till Thursday evening.

"A few boys in the society told us where he and his daughters were. We went to him, but he refused to speak to us and asked us to leave him alone," said Shobha Katke, a neighbour.

Katke said Sumit was seen near his hut on Friday morning.

"We saw him enter his house at 8am. He picked up a few clothes and left. He was alone at the time," she said.

According to neighbours, Menaka barely had left the house ever since she came to live with the family two months ago. The child earlier lived in Muzzafarpur in Bihar with her maternal grandparents.

"I have just seen her twice. She was going to the market to buy vegetables. She was not allowed to mingle with the other children and she did not go to school," said a neighbour who did not wish to be named.

However, they did hear the child crying.

"We assumed she was being punished for some mischief," said Katke, adding, "As neighbours you can't meddle in someone's personal life. It was only on Tuesday night when we found her in a battered condition that we realised the torture she had endured."