The stepmother of a seven-year-old child from Malwani, who allegedly beat him with a leather belt and a wooden stick over the past two years, was arrested on Friday.
The torture came to light when the child fell unconscious in school, because of a head injury he suffered after his mother allegedly hit him.
According to the principal, the boy collapsed during one of the classes in the afternoon. “The class teacher got him to my cabin. I realised there were injury marks on his body. When we asked him if he was scared of his stepmother, he started crying. We consoled him and then inquired with his neighbours, who told us about the torture,” said the school principal.
The school authorities took the boy to a local hospital. The doctors noticed there were burn marks on his body. The child told the doctors that his stepmother beats him up daily and also keeps him hungry, said a police officer.
The child is a Class 2 student of an English-medium school in Malwani. The principal said he was good at studies. His father is a tailor and the stepmother is a housewife. According to the father’s statement, the child’s mother separated from the man two years ago and lives at their native place.
The principal of the school then filed a complaint against the stepmother. Prakash Patil, senior inspector, Malwani police station, said, “We have recorded the statement of the child and the school authorities. The stepmother has been arrested”.
The police have booked the stepmother under section 324 of the Indian Penal Code for voluntary causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means and also under the relevant sections of the Juvenile Justice Act.