Odisha couple arrested on charges of torturing man’s minor daughter
Police in Bhubaneswar have arrested a couple on charges of torturing and starving the man’s 7-year-old daughter from his earlier marriage.
Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissioner of Police Saumendra Priyadarshi said the man from Barahal village under Balipatna police station and his third wife were charged with attempt to murder the girl born from the man’s second marriage.
The seven-year-old child weighs barely 5 kilograms. “The malnourished child has been admitted in Capital Hospital with several burn marks on her body. The child was beaten everyday, and kept chained in the veranda of their house for days together,” said the police commissioner.
Police said the man had married for a second time in 2013 after divorcing his first wife. In 2014, a girl was born to the couple. However, the second wife left for her parents’ along with the child in 2014 after the man allegedly started torturing her.
The man got married for a third time. In March 2020, he got the girl’s custody after an official separation from his second wife. That was when the alleged torture began.His ex-wife said that social activist Md Jamil Akhtar, with the help of NGO Childline, rescued the girl.
“My daughter told me that she was beaten with broom and kicked often. Why did he (ex-husband) take her custody if he had to torture my daughter? They must be punished for subjecting the child to such torture,” she said.
Childline director Benudhar Senapati said, “Her father and stepmother took out their frustration on her. They used to beat her every day,” he said.
The man, however, dismissed the allegations of torture and attributed his daughter’s poor health to psychological stress. “She inflicted the injuries on herself by putting her fingers into boiling milk when I was away,” he said.
Police said apart from attempt to murder charges, the couple has been charged under relevant Sections of Indian Penal Code and Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.