Dead girl’s parents allege pressure to withdraw complaint in Bengaluru

The five-year-old girl was allegedly sexually abused and set ablaze by a neighbour in her colony in Bannerghatta Road and succumbed to burns.

Published: 17th February 2017 05:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th February 2017 05:34 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: A day after a five-year-old girl, who was allegedly sexually abused and set ablaze by a neighbour in her colony in Bannerghatta Road succumbed to burns at a government hospital in the city, her parents have alleged they are being pressurised by police to withdraw their complaint.

Bannerghatta station police, who registered a case under IPC Section 307, arrested the accused but are now allegedly putting pressure on the girl’s parents to opt for a settlement and get compensation. The victim’s mother Devi told Express, “The police have been asking us to withdraw the complaint from day 1.”

The incident had happened last Friday and the child, who suffered 85 per cent burns, died on Wednesday in Victoria Hospital. “Even after my child’s death, they are asking us how much compensation we want and why we are not agreeing to a settlement,” Devi said, adding, “We told the police that we will not withdraw the complaint under any circumstance. No one can get my child back and we want justice. Let them conduct an inquiry, reveal the truth and punish the guilty.”

Parents want the inquiry to focus on alleged sexual abuse of their child. Police have maintained that it was an accident and not a case of sexual abuse. 

Devi, the mother of the five-year-old girl who was allegedly sexually abused and set ablaze by a neighbour, said her daughter told her that the man he threw a matchstick on her.

“My daughter said that the neighbour (the accused) scared her by setting her on fire. On Friday, after she came back from the Anganwadi school, she went to the neighbour’s house to see their baby. I don’t know what exactly happened and why the man set her on fire. She told us in the hospital that he threw a matchstick on her. We want an inquiry to reveal the truth,” Devi added.

DG & IGP R K Dutta said he would ask the SP concerned to look into the case. Investigations reveal that the accused Satish had asked the child to buy him beedi and matchbox from a nearby shop. Though the incident happened on Friday evening, the accused did not inform the parents. He admitted the girl in a private hospital from where she was shifted to Victoria.

The Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) too has written to the sub-inspector of Bannerghatta police station asking him to submit a detailed report on the case. The commission has asked the police if it has acted on the complaint of sexual abuse of the child and to present the status of the investigation.

Though doctors at the Victoria Hospital burns ward, where the child was admitted, say there is no evidence of sexual abuse, the parents are not convinced. KSCPCR authorities too have backed the parents. “When we sought the report based on the sexual abuse complaint received by us, the doctors only sent a general report and not the one pertaining to sexual abuse,” said an official of the commission.

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