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Brutality finger at Bengal couple

Bangalore, Aug. 10: A family from Darjeeling is facing charges of beating up its minor domestic help and leaving the unconscious girl in a private hospital with severe head injuries.

Doctors at Vani Vilas Hospital said the girl was brought with a blood clot in her head, an injury near her left eye and marks of beatings on her chest, hands and legs. The 13-year-old was also severely malnourished.

“She was in a very critical condition but has started responding to treatment,” Gangadhar Belawadi, the head of the department of paediatrics, said today.

The couple have been booked under the Juvenile Justice Act for employing a minor and under IPC Section 326 for deliberately causing grievous injuries.

Malini, an orphan, was employed as a maid in the household of Nikhunj Todi and Nafisa Usmani at St John’s Wood Apartments in Sadduguntepalya near the upscale Koramangala area.

Todi, an engineering graduate, works as a consultant for green technology solutions. Nafisa is a homemaker. Both are 33.

According to police sources, the girl’s grandmother — her only relative — had handed her over to Nafisa in Darjeeling sometime in June. She has since been working at the couple’s flat.

On Thursday night, the couple took the girl to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences with severe injuries, the sources said.

Since the Nimhans ICU was full, doctors asked the couple to take Malini somewhere else after giving her initial medical aid for the night.

On Friday morning, the couple shifted her to Blossoms Hospital in Koramangala, said a police source.

When doctors at Blossoms asked them about the cause of the girl’s injuries, the couple allegedly scooted. The hospital authorities contacted the police who managed to trace the couple, the source said.

Yesterday morning, Blossoms shifted Malini to Vani Vilas Hospital. After 24 hours in the ICU, she began responding to treatment.

According to hospital sources, it appears Malini was subjected to severe physical abuse. “She was brought to us with a blood clot in her head, an injury near her left eye and several marks of beatings,” said Belawadi.

“Her whole body had marks of healed injuries, possibly from beatings with some object. Such marks were seen on her chest, hands and legs.”

Sharat Chandra, joint commissioner of police, law and order, Bangalore East, said: “She was not fed properly… Our enquiries show she was badly beaten up once for stealing small change to buy biscuits when she could not control her hunger. We are waiting to take her statement.”