A four-year-old girl is seen sitting on the floor wearing a red frock, eating some snacks. The soles of her feet are marked with burn injuries and she is asked by the person shooting the video, “Who burnt you?” She looks and responds innocently: "My daddy burnt me. I was eating and he started beating me."
The four-year-old girl was on Tuesday rescued from the abusive home in the city's Malakpet area after the police took cognisance of the heart-wrenching video shot by child rights activists.
When asked about burn marks on her face and hand and other scars on her back, the girl told her rescuers that her 'father’ heated a ladle on the stove and used it to brand her. The girl's mother, identified as Saritha, was living with a partner ever since she separated from her husband a few years ago. He was the one who the girl identified as ‘daddy’ in her video. While Saritha has been arrested, Saritha’s partner, identified as Venkat Reddy, is absconding.
Speaking to TNM, Achyuta Rao, from the Balala Hakkula Sangham (BHS), said that former MLA D Sudheer had received information about the girl being beaten up on a regular basis and the duo visited her house on Tuesday, to check the claims. When they realised it was a valid complaint, they called the police and Childline India officials.
Sudheer Babu has offered to take care of the expenses for the child's education.
"It is one of the most severe cases of child abuse I have seen in my life. The girl was branded and brutally beaten for the past one month. She had many bruises on her body. Sexual assault has also been suspected, so the girl was sent for a medical test before she was shifted to a home," Achyuta said.
The police have registered a case under Section 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC besides relevant sections of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.