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Girl gagged for ‘stealing’ mango

Malda, July 7: A 14-year-old girl was thrown at the edge of a pond after her hair was cut and her mouth, hands and feet were tied allegedly by her uncle and aunt and two unidentified youths for plucking mangoes from their tree in Old Malda yesterday.

The minor’s father had filed a missing diary yesterday evening after his daughter did not return home.

On Friday afternoon, the girl was accused by her uncle and aunt of stealing mangoes from a tree belonging to them. They had threatened the girl of dire consequences.

According to a police source, around 7am today, local villagers found the girl lying unconscious with her clothes caked with mud on the side of a pond, around 200 metres from her home. They rescued the girl and took her to the Malda Medical College and Hospital.

“My daughter told me after she gained consciousness at the hospital that she had picked just one mango from the tree. On Sunday evening, my brother and his wife, along with two other youths, whom she could not recognise, picked up my daughter and took her to a house in the adjoining village. My daughter told me that there they forcibly cut her hair and then beat her up with a bamboo strip,” said the girl’s father.

“They then tied her hands and feet and gagged her with a towel and dumped her on the edge of the pond. My daughter said her pleas went unheeded. I have told the police to arrest my brother, his wife and two others and punish them for trying to kill my daughter,” he said.

After the girl gained consciousness, the father filed a police compliant against his brother and wife for torture and attempt to murder.

T. Ashis Deb, the inspector-in-charge of Old Malda police station, said the uncle and the aunt had fled from the village.

“The father of a 14-year-old girl has filed a complaint against his brother, his wife and two unknown persons for attempting to murder his daughter. We have recorded the statement of the girl after she was admitted to the hospital. We are looking for the accused,” Deb said.

M.A. Rashid, the vice-principal of the medical college, said the minor was out of danger. “She has suffered minor cuts and bruises and was traumatised at being tied up all night. She is under observation and will be released tomorrow,” he said.