Congo's ambassador seeks custody of seven-year-old Sania
Congo's Ambassador to India on Monday moved a city court seeking custody of seven-year-old Sania, whose mother, a Congolese national, was brutally murdered by her Indian father here last week.
Ambassador Mossi Nyamale Rosette, on behalf of the victim's family, came to the court, which also took up hearing of petition by Sania's paternal grandmother for her custody.
The court, however, directed police to hand over the girl to state-run Child Welfare Committee till it decides the matter.
The ambassador and the girl's maternal uncle also sought permission to meet her.
Cynthia Vechel was murdered by her Indian husband Rupesh Kumar Mohnani at their flat in Gachibowli here on July 4. Sania was locked in another room.
Mohnani, a businessman, cut Cynthia's body into pieces, stuffed them into a suitcase and carried the same in his car to a village on city outskirts, where he was caught by people while burning the severed body parts.
Meanwhile, the court also ordered DNA test on Sania to identify the charred remains of Cynthia.
Mohnani is currently in jail. Police also moved a petition in the court, seeking his custody for further interrogation.
Mohnani's mother Lalitha Devi filed a petition seeking the custody of Sania.
Following Mohnani's arrest, the police had handed over Sania to his family members. However, they took her back after Congolese nationals settled here staged a protest. They demanded that Cynthia's brother, who lives here, be given the custody of the child.
Police, however, refused to do so on the ground that Cynthia's brother was staying illegally.
The victim's other family members have also arrived in the city and they, with the help of the ambassador, launched a legal battle to take Sania's custody.
They argue that as Cynthia was killed by Rupesh, his family can't take good care of Sania.
Having lost her mother and with her father in jail, the girl's future is in limbo.
Mohnani, who had gone to Congo, met Cynthia, a club dancer, and they fell in love and married in 2008. They came to India in 2012 and was since living here.
Police investigations revealed that the couple was having frequent fights over financial matters. Mohnani was also angry over Cynthia chatting with her friend over Facebook.