Police yet to record child's statement
The Dharavi police who arrested 24-year-old Aarti Thakur for allegedly torturing her seven-year-old stepdaughter Menaka, are waiting for the child to recover a little before they get to know details of the alleged torture.
Police arrested the woman based on the child's initial statement, in which she had said Aarti had been torturing her.
Additional commissioner of police (central region) Vineet Agarwal said, "So far, there has been no evidence to prove Menaka's father Sumit was in any way responsible for her ordeal. She has made allegations against Aarti following which we arrested her."
Najma Khan, a social activist alleged, "While Sumit may not have beaten up Menaka, how is it possible that he did not know his daughter was being tortured for two months?"
An officer from the Dharavi police who did not wish to be identified said, "The child, in her statement, has not named her father. She is currently traumatised so we do not want to stress her out even more. We will wait for her to get back to normal and then ask her about her father's role."
He said, "We have already arrested Aarti and if we arrest Sumit as well, there will be no one to take care of their two daughters."
Meanwhile, Aarti, who was arrested on Wednesday, has been sent to judicial custody till February 8.
Thakur has been arrested under section 324 (causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the IPC and section 41 of the Juvenile Justice (punishment for cruelty to a juvenile).
On Tuesday night, Menaka had come out of her Dharavi home crying for help. Menaka, who is Sumit's daughter from his first marriage, had allegedly been beaten with a rolling pin and branded with hot spoons for two months.
Menaka also told the police that Aarti made her do all the household chores and starved her.