Falak may have been kidnapped

Falak may have been kidnapped

Falak may have been kidnapped

The police on Friday began probing into the alleged role of a 22-year-old man involved in inflicting brutality upon abandoned baby Falak.

A team of sleuths have gone to Mumbai to look for the man, suspected to be hiding in his in-laws’ house in the western metropolis.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit promised her government would take care of Falak, who was abandoned at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on January 18 with serious injuries, including human bite marks, by a 14-year-old girl, who claimed to be her “mother”. The baby’s condition continued to be critical, with slight improvement.

“The Delhi government will support whatever her (the infant’s) needs are. We will fulfill her needs. We are waiting for the medical report,” Dikshit told reporters.

Doctors at the AIIMS said Falak was taken off the ventilator Friday morning but was still unconscious. “The condition of the baby is stabilising. She was removed from the ventilator and has shown improvement. She is moving her limbs now. However, even if she survives a question mark will remain on her mental health,” said a senior doctor.

The police are looking for the accused identified as Rajkumar in Mumbai based on an identity card which contained an address in Mumbai. “We have sent a team to Mumbai to trace Rajkumar. He has fled to his in-laws’ house there. We have also sent another team to Dwarka and are also interrogating his wife,” said a senior police officer.

During investigation, police found that despite being marri­ed, Rajkumar was living with the 14-year-old girl at Ma­hi­palpur in South Delhi as “husb­and and wife” taking advantage of the girl, who had no place to go. He has sexually abused the minor several times, police said. Police have also taken the teenager’s statement. It is learnt that the teenager, who has now been shifted to Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre, was living with her father Jitendra Gupta at F3/453, Lane number 4, Sangam Vihar in south-east Delhi till May 25 last year.

“Four years ago her mother died. Her father remarried one and a half years ago. She was physically tortured by her father and stepmother over petty issues. Fed up, she left the house on May 25 last year,” said a senior police officer.

Unable to find his daughter, Gupta registered a kidnapping case on June 2 at Sangam Vihar Police Station. Gupta’s landlord S C Chandra told police that Gupta’s new wife used to torture the girl regularly. Gupta shifted to Govindpuri in July last year. “We are questioning the father,” a police officer said.

After fleeing her house, the girl went to her relatives in Uttam Nagar but left soon after. With no place to go, she was spotted at Uttam Nagar bus stop by an elderly woman who took the teenager to her house in Munirka and gave her a maid’s job.

The girl met Rajkumar, a driver, at the woman’s house. She left the place after three months and started living with him at Dwarka.

A few months ago, they shifted to a paying guest accommodation at Arjun Camp in Mahipalpur on rent. On January 13, Rajkumar came home and handed Falak to the girl, saying that she was his friend’s daughter and that he was adopting her.

A few days ago, Rajkumar told the girl that he was going out of the city and asked her to take care of Falak. Police suspect the girl had injured Falak.

On January 18 morning, the girl went along with a woman to AIIMS and tried to admit the baby in the hospital, claiming that she was the mother. The hospital authorities grew suspicious and called in the police who registered a case of kidnapping at Vasant Kunj Police Station in south Delhi.

Meanwhile, women groups and political leaders emphasised the need to bring in a strict law to check sexual abuse of children. 

Calling it horrific, CPM leader Brinda Karat said: “Of course, it is serious and more so because such cases are not rare and occur very often in our country but we have no social infrastructure to support a child in distress.”

“We have had some amendments to the criminal procedure code last year providing certain protection as far as recording statements of children is concerned but no comprehensive approach concerning child sexual abuse as far as victim is concerned,” she said.

Karat said a law sent by some women organisations has been pending since years.
“Leave aside tabling it in parliament, it has not been discussed in the cabinet. I think it is criminal that this is happening and we are unable to deal it in a comprehensive way. Our social infrastructure is so weak that we cannot do anything,” Karat added.

Calling for stringent action against the culprits, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shahnawaz Hussain said: “It is inhumane and strict action should be taken against those involved.”

Ranjana Kumari, director of Centre for Social Research, said: “It is horrifying to see the way this little child has been treated and she has been in the trauma centre. Police is also behaving in a little strange manner. If a minor child has brought a kid to the hospital, it is a double crime.”

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