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Goa police head to A.P. to probe origin of tortured girls

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Caretaker used to allegedly assault them with belt, pipes

Goa police have started an investigation into the case where eight girls with burn injuries were rescued from two flats near Baina beach at Vasco on April 15.

The girls, in the 11 to 12 age-group, were under the care of Venus Habeeb, a 65-year-old resident of Baina, who allegedly brought them from Andhra Pradesh. Goa police on Wednesday sent a team to the State to probe the origin of the eight girls.

The case came to light when a girl from Mangor-Hill in Vasco in South Goa noticed burn injuries on the hands of the girls when they met at a local church for prayers on the evening of April 15. The girl immediately dialled 1098, CHILDLINE India Foundation’s toll-free helpline, which promptly intimated the police.

Vasco police raided the flats owned by the accused and rescued the girls. Ms. Habeeb was arrested and the flats were sealed. The police registered a case against the accused under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 324 (simple injuries) of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 8 of Goa Children’s Act.

Ms. Habeeb was produced before the Judicial Magistrate First Class court in Vasco, which remanded her in police custody for five days. Police Sub Inspector Ritesh Tari said, “The police team is visiting Andhra Pradesh to find out if the accused adopted the girls or bought them from their parents.” Mr. Tari said the accused had enrolled the girls in a reputed school in Vasco, but used to allegedly assault them with a belt and pipes.

On Tuesday, the court recorded the statements of all the girls, which Mr. Tari said would be kept confidential. The statements will be sent to Goa Children’s Court, which will hear Ms. Habeeb’s bail plea on Thursday. Mr. Tari said more persons could be involved in the case.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 4:55:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/goa-police-head-to-ap-to-probe-origin-of-tortured-girls/article23590663.ece

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