Thirteen-year-old Yogitha Beaten-up by Police in Theft Case

Daijiworld Media Network – Mumbai (SM)

Mumbai, Nov 6: 13-year-old Yogita Hindole alleges that the Badlapur rural police beat her up on Saturday and Sunday after her teacher accused her of stealing a mangalsutra.
On the face of it, Yogita Hindole (13), hooked to an IV drip at the Central Hospital in Ulhasnagar, looks fine. But a closer look at her feet and back shows up injuries that she alleges she got from being tortured by the police.

Yogita, a resident of Vangani and a student of Std VI, alleges that the cops beat her up for several hours on Saturday and Sunday after her class teacher accused her of stealing her mangalsutra. Yogita, a student of Zilla Parishad School No 3, said that for months now her class teacher, Bhavna Borule, had been making her do menial jobs at her house.

"She made me sweep the floor, dust the house, wash utensils and do many other chores. I never questioned her as she is my teacher," said Yogita, who has difficulty sitting up or lying on her back. On Friday, Borule allegedly accused Yogita of stealing her mangalsutra and gave a written complaint to Badlapur rural police station naming the 13-year-old as a suspect.

On Saturday, Yogita was summoned to the police station and questioned for over 15 hours. "Gaikwad and (head constable) a lady constable kept hitting me throughout the questioning. Gaikwad even hit me with his belt. They wanted me to admit that I had stolen the mangalsutra," Yogita said. She was finally allowed to go home only at 11 pm.

On Sunday, Yogita was once again summoned to the police station. "This time, I was asked to stand in the 'murga' pose, while the cops repeatedly hit me on my back. They then asked me to strip and lie down. Gaikwad then stood on my toes," Yogita alleges. She shows the wounds on her back and toes to corroborate her story.

The 13-year-old's torture came to an end only on Monday when her desperate parents approached local politicians. "I was a little skeptical at first, but after I heard the girl and saw her wounds, I was convinced," Narendra Shelar, an NCP leader, said. Along with Shiv Sena leader Ravi Patil, Shelar got Yogita admitted to Central Hospital.

The Hindoles now want teacher Borule to be punished along with the two constables who tortured Yogita. "How can they torture a 13-year-old like this? If they believed that my daughter had stolen Borule's mangalsutra they should have registered an FIR of theft and booked my daughter," Ashok, Yogita's father, said.

When Mumbai Mirror went to Borule's house to speak to her, the house was locked.

Datta Pable, assistant inspector attached to Badlapur rural police station, said he would investigate the case. "We will record the girl's statement and on the basis of that initiate action against all those involved. Also, if it is found that the teacher made her to work at home, she will be booked under the child labour act," he said.


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