A few days ago, the newspapers brought an article about how child abuse is on the rise in Goa. It is believed that every week, more than 5 children are abused. Between March 2017 and February 2018, the state saw 273 child abuse cases — more than five a week. Of these, 68% were girls and 32% boys. In fact, a report submitted to the Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar by the Victim Assistance Unit, actually shows that it is rising rapidly. This seems to be evident with the latest story in the newspapers. According to sources, 8 young girls, studying at a reputed school, were found in an apartment in Vasco city in Mormugao taluka. They were allegedly being held captive and also showed signs of being tortured.
Living a life of torture and abuse in Vasco city
As the shocking story unfolds, the 8 young girls were being held captive in an apartment in Vasco city. According to the police, they were allegedly tortured, branded with a hot knife and also allegedly beaten with a pipe. The suspected perpetrator of the crime is a 65-year-old woman named Venus Habib who claims to have adopted the girls. The girls are between the ages of 6 and 12 years. They told the police that these beatings were given for “petty reasons”.
The girls were rescued yesterday by the Vasco city police from the apartment which is in the Baina area. An NGO assisted the police with the rescue.
Recognizing the abuse
On Sunday at a church service, a Vasco city local noticed that one of the girls was injured on her arm. This person then alerted the authorities to the same after the girl narrated her story, said Vasco city police station inspector Nolasco Raposo.
“The police raided the flat owned by Habib and found seven more girls confined there. The girls told the police that they were being assaulted by the accused woman with a pipe and a hot knife on their hands and legs for petty reasons,” Mr. Raposo said.
A case was registered against Habib under section 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the IPC and section 8 of the Goa Children’s Act, he added.
The girls are now in Apna Ghar, a state-run shelter in Merces.
Registering a case against the accused
Sources said that the girls would be brought before The Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Vasco city at approximately 12 noon. The JMFC was to record their statements then.
According to the investigating officer, Ritesh Tari, the girls underwent a medical examination at the Sub-District Hospital based at Chicalim. The report did not reveal any sexual assault.
“We are interrogating the accused woman and even verifying the call details of her cell phone,” said
He also revealed that the accused woman has applied for bail before the Children’s Court in Panaji and the hearing will take place on today, the 17th of April.
Information credit – The Navhind Times/ NDTV/ TimesNowNews