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Girl recounts gag & punch by ‘dada’

A “dada” had gagged her, punched her on the nose, wrapped her in a blanket and taken her to the terrace, the three-year-old daughter of a West Bengal Civil Service officer told her parents on Wednesday. The girl had gone missing from her Salt Lake home on Tuesday evening only to be found later crying on the terrace a floor above.

The traumatised girl has bruises on the back of her neck, on her nose and chin, and was complaining of pain in her legs and arms when she returned home from hospital on Wednesday evening.

“I was sleeping when a dada covered my mouth and tried to carry me away. I tried to shout when he punched my nose and I started crying. He wrapped me in some clothes and blanket and took me to the terrace,” the girl told Metro at her home on Wednesday.

According to the parents, the girl was allegedly pushed into a small space under the overhead cement tank.

“She is not willing to walk and whenever I am trying to carry her in my arms she is crying in pain,” said the girl’s mother.

According to doctors at the private hospital where she was admitted on Tuesday, the girl was physically assaulted and so her vaginal swab was sent to the laboratory. “She is still in trauma and was scared to go home in the morning. Later, her parents calmed her down and she was allowed to go,” said a doctor.

The alleged attack had taken place around 4.30pm in the third-floor apartment of the officer who works as a private secretary (mistakenly reported as personal assistant on Wednesday) of a state minister.

His wife was allegedly attacked and rendered unconscious at the front door. She said she saw “a thin, tall, dark man” before losing consciousness. “There was a sweet smell and I could not remember anything after that.”

The girl was found missing after the mother regained consciousness 10 minutes later. She and other neighbours searched for her for close to 45 minutes inside the housing complex when the male domestic help (not a maid as reported on Wednesday) of a ground-floor flat said he had heard a child’s cry from the terrace. Followed by the others, he opened the terrace door bolted from the outside to find the child there.

The couple’s seven-year-old elder daughter had allegedly escaped an abduction attempt from outside her school on Monday when a woman had tried to lure her away by offering a packet of potato chips. The woman told the girl that her sister was very sick and so she should rush home with her.

After that incident, the civil servant had lodged a police complaint. A fresh one was filed on Tuesday after the attack on his wife and younger daughter.

“We have spoken to all the family members. But the two key witnesses are very minor girls,” said Arnab Ghosh, the deputy commissioner of detective department of Bidhannagar city police.