In a discreet letter slipped to a teacher last week, a young schoolgirl in Mumbai wrote that her father had been raping her and her mother, who was witness to these sexual assaults, did nothing to help, reports NDTV.
It was a desperate plea for help from the child where she wrote, “My father raped me and my mother is not helping.”
Upon receiving the letter, the teacher approached a local NGO in Vashi, who helped register a rape case against the parents with the Vashi police.
NDTV also reports, The FIR was registered on Monday night against both the parents.
According to NDTV, cops said the girl's 45-year-old father is a fruit vendor. In her statement to the cops, the girl said, "My father raped me in front of my mother. After this, my mother would then offer me some pills. He has been raping me since I was seven years old.Despite complaining to my mother, she refused to help me."
Police sources said they are investigating if the pills were to prevent pregnancy. The survivor has an elder sister, an elder brother, and two younger brothers. She has alleged that the rapes would happen when her siblings were not at home reports NDTV.
"Whenever my brothers weren't at home, my father would take advantage of the opportunity and rape me inside my house, in front of my mother. I had complained to my mother several times, but she never helped me," she told the police. The teen told the cops she had also confided in her 17-year-old sister.
Police said the elder sister doesn't stay with the family, and the girl has said she, too, has been a victim of the father's sexual assault. The girl also said in her statement that she had brought up the matter before her neighbours, but they refused to intervene and suggested that she approach the cops herself.
Police said the girl was able to muster courage after receiving a counselling session at school. A police officer from Vashi police station, requesting anonymity, said, "A few NGOs have been delivering counselling sessions on child sexual abuse at several schools in Navi Mumbai, during which she realised that she should speak up against her parents," says NDTV.
Police have questioned the survivor's mother, who has refuted her daughter's charges. The woman claimed she came to know about the sexual assaults only a fortnight ago, after which she scolded her husband and asked him to stay away from the teenager. The girl is now put up at a children's home owned by the NGO.
According to NDTV, both the parents have been booked under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code, along with Section 5(L)(N) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. However, only the father has been arrested till now. He was produced at a Thane court yesterday and remanded to police custody till tomorrow (July 23).
Deputy Commissioner of Police Shahaji Umap (Navi Mumbai Zone I) confirmed the incident, and said, "We have arrested the father, but are investigating as to what exact role her mother had to play. The survivor has told us that her mother has offered her some medicine.
We will verify what medicines were given to her. Once these details are confirmed, we will arrest the mother too." Police sources believe these medicines were contraceptive pills, which the mother offered to her daughter to avoid pregnancy.