Abused 13- yr- old lives in fear as ac­cused walks free on bail

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Yo­gesh Pawar MUM­BAI — Prakash Parsekar DNA

The 13- year- old who was sex­u­ally abused by Vakola- based Shiv Sena shakha func­tionary Narayan Gaikar, 69, on De­cem­ber 12 and her par­ents fear for their safety as the ac­cused who is out on bail has been men­ac­ingly prowl­ing around their house. DNA had re­ported the abuse on De­cem­ber 28.

The vic­tim’s fa­ther is a daily- wage labourer while her mother works as a domestic help in the build­ings nearby. The fam­ily lives in con­stant fear since Gaikar en­joys a clout in the neigh­bour­hood due to his po­lit­i­cal con­nec­tions. PSI Pallavi Kulka­rni who is han­dling in­ves­ti­ga­tions says the fam­ily should come to the po­lice if they fear for their safety. “If they come to us we will pro­vide se­cu­rity,” she of­fered.

Soon af­ter the in­ci­dent, the vic­tim kept quiet but the trauma led to high fever. “She used to be quiet. But some of her friends who play with her near our chawl told me that she’d con­fided in them. It took sev­eral days for her to open up. She fi­nally broke down and told me what had hap­pened on 21st af­ter­noon when she saw Gaikar lurk­ing around the house again.” The mother told DNA that her daugh­ter was play­ing out­side the tem­ple near her house The tem­ple at Vakola where the abuse hap­pened, and the vyayamshala on its left on De­cem­ber 12 when the ac­cused called her and other chil­dren and asked them to sweep the premises. “He of­fered them Rs 5 each and they agreed. He told her to sweep a room used like a vyayamshala ( gym) on the side.”

“When my daugh­ter went in, he pinned her to the wall and tried to force him­self on her,” she says, break­ing down while the daugh­ter sits with down­cast eyes in the one room home. “She pushed him away, man­aged to un­latch the door and flee,” the mother con­tin­ues. The vic­tim ran home when she saw Gaikar coming out. The fam­ily then ap­proached Vakola po­lice and an FIR was lodged on De­cem­ber 22 and a charge was made against Gaikar un­der Sec 354 ( mo­lesta­tion). the po­lice do not seem to have sat­is­fac­tory an­swers on why a charge was not made against the ac­cused for abus­ing a mi­nor or why she was not sent for a med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion. PSI Kulka­rni in­sists, “This is only a mo­lesta­tion, not sex­ual abuse. So we did not feel it nec­es­sary to re­fer her for med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion.” She could not say why the fact that the vic­tim was mi­nor did not re­flect in the charges. While an­gry shiv sainiks in the neigh­bour­hood told DNA that the charge was trumped up, lo­cal cor­po­ra­tor San­jay Pot­nis said Gaikar had noth­ing to do with the party. “Just be­cause he helped me in elec­tions, he doesn’t be­come a shiv sainik, does he?” he asked.

Women’s rights group Ma­jlis which runs a rape vic­tims sup­port group has taken up the case and met the fam­ily on Satur­day. Ad­vo­cate Flavia Agnes who heads the or­gan­i­sa­tion told DNA, “The child and her par­ents will need sev­eral rounds of coun­selling. Our pri­or­ity is that. We will then start the le­gal process.”

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