Chinsurah, Aug. 12: A 12-year-old Hooghly girl who had fled home and refused to return to her mother alleging frequent assaults was today sent to a government home for destitutes by police.
The girl, who did not return home from school yesterday, was found by the police loitering near Bandel railway station last night. When she was brought to Mogra police station, the Class VI student told the officer in charge she did not want to return home as her mother often beat her up.
OC Sukhamoy Chakraborty said: “The girl’s mother was called to the police station but the child refused to go home with her. Her mother and we tried to persuade her to go home but she was adamant. We contacted officials of the child welfare committee and sent her to the government home in Uttarpara on their advice.”
A police officer said the mother admitted to scolding the girl, whose father is a dealer in electronic goods now working in Bangkok, when she neglected her studies but denied having beaten her up.
An official at the government home said: “The girl told us that her mother assaulted her because she was good in studies. She alleged that her mother loved her younger sister more. The girl also said she was beaten up for refusing to have green vegetables, asking for potatoes and spending time in the bathroom.”
Abhik Bhattacharya, senior manager (media advocacy) of the NGO Child Rights and You (CRY), East, said children refusing to return home fearing parental torture was “uncommon but not unheard of”.
“This incident shows that even the domestic space is not always the safest shelter for a child and protection of children is not always the highest priority of parents,” he said.