Things are only getting worse for Aarti Thakur, who is in the dock for battering her seven-year-old stepdaughter. Out on bail after being arrested by the Dharavi police, Thakur was sent back behind bars by the local magistrate's court on Wednesday. This time, she faces charges that could put her in jail for life.
Thakur is in custody for abusing her stepdaughter Menaka over a two-month-period. The woman allegedly branded the child with hot spoons and beat her with a rolling pin. Thakur will be in police custody till February 13.
On February 1, the Dharavi police arrested Thakur under section 324 (causing hurt using dangerous weapons) of the IPC, and section 41 (punishment for cruelty to a juvenile) of the Juvenile Justice Act. However, she was out on bail a day later.
Meanwhile, Menaka underwent a medical checkup at the Sion hospital. The report revealed that the child had suffered grievous injuries. Armed with this report, the police applied section 326 (causing grievous hurt using dangerous weapons) of the IPC in place of section 324. Thakur, who was earlier facing the prospect of three years in jail, could now be sent in for 10 years or even for life.
After applying section 326, the police sent a letter to the local court seeking Aarti's custody for further interrogation.
On Wednesday, Thakur appeared in court, accompanied by her husband Sujith, and their two daughters. "Aarti has kept to herself since she was remanded to custody by the court and has not interacted with anyone," said an officer from the Dharavi police station who chose to remain anonymous.
The shocking case of abuse came to light a week ago when a wailing Menaka ran out of her Shatabdi Nagar home in Dharavi. The child told the police that Thakur treated her like a domestic help and forced her to do all the housework. Despite this, the girl was denied proper food and was tortured.