Girl in hospital with fractures, cuts, burns; step-dad on the run

A mother has been remanded in 14 days of judicial custody for allegedly torturing her five-year-old daughter — admitted to the hospital with multiple fractures, bruises, cuts and cigarette burns — at their home in Kuwaitu village in Belthangady taluk.

The police are on the lookout for the girl’s step-father, Mohammad Safiq, who they said absconded as soon as the neighbours filed a case with the Belthangady police.

On Saturday, the girl was admitted to the hospital after having been reportedly beaten with rods and stubbed with lit cigarettes, said the Belthangady police. Fouzia, the mother, was arrested on Sunday, and was produced before the court on Monday for “voluntarily causing grievous hurt with dangerous weapons” (IPC 324 and 326) and under the Juvenile Justice Act, said the police, who added that they were awaiting the report of doctors to invoke more stringent sections.

Ms. Fouzia had earlier married Farooq, who deserted her after the birth of the girl. The mother later married Mr. Safiq, a daily-wage labourer in Puttur. The police described Mr. Safiq as being violent with his step-daughter.

‘An attempt to murder’

Though the girl was described to be stable, she has severe injuries to the hand, swollen knee caps, is anaemic, and burn marks on the neck, face and hands, said Asha Nayak, Chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee.

She said that considering that the family were repeat offenders, they should be charged with attempt to murder. “One-and-a-half months ago, the mother was called after the girl was found to have burn marks. The mother, who said the injuries were out of a fit of anger, was only allowed to take custody of the child after signing an undertaking,” said Ms. Nayak.

Under CWC care

The CWC has taken custody of the child, and on her discharge from the hospital, the infant will be placed in a fit institution, she said.

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