Alert neighbours helped a city-based child helpline to rescue a 12-year-old girl who was allegedly being tortured by her mother.

The victim, who had reportedly been brandished with a hot iron rod by her mother, was rescued by Association of Promoting Social Action (APSA), and admitted to Manipal hospital here for treatment of her injuries.

Based on the complaint, the Vidyaranayapura police have arrested Lakshmi Priya, (40), her mother, and produced her before the court on Monday.

APSA Co-ordinator C Subramanya told The Hindu, that the accused who runs a beauty parlour used to torture her daughter regularly. The neighbours, who were concerned about the girl, tipped of the child helpline, he said.

Enquiries revealed that the accused, who was separated from her husband, married again and had a nine month old baby boy. Since she was running the beauty parlour, she stopped her from going to school, confined her to the house and forced her to take care of the baby.

The torture started when the victim began objecting to her mother’s behaviour, following which she was locked up in the house and beaten regularly, APSA co-ordinator said based on the statement given to them by the victim.

The accused, who was questioned by the police feigned ignorance, stating that she reprimanded her for stealing money from the house.

But, the victim gave a different version and requested the child helpline volunteers to take her with them.

The injuries inflicted on her body is severe and hence she needed immediate medical attention, Mr. Subramanya said adding that the Child Welfare Committee ( CWC) is now looking into the matter on rehabilitation .

“We have arrested her and remanded her to the judicial custody”, the Vidyaranyapura police said.

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