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Jail for mom’s pal, girl with nana

The 12-year-old Ranchi schoolgirl, who complained to Jharkhand Chief Justice R. Banumathi about getting lewd looks from her mother’s Facebook friend-turned-boyfriend, will now live under the protection of her maternal grandparents.

The 40-year-old man, who befriended a divorced lady and then made her minor daughter “uncomfortable and scared” was forwarded to Birsa Munda Central Jail in Hotwar on Wednesday by the court of chief judicial magistrate.

The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) delegation, after hearing the girl’s story in detail, put her in the custody of her grandparents.

According to the girl, a Class VI student of a reputable school, her mother, a 38-year-old divorcee who works as a teacher, became Facebook friends with a man who claimed to be a marine engineer. The online friendship developed into a relationship between them. But when the mother took the girl along on her dates with the man, the child realised he looked at her with lust.

However, the girl, who calls herself “neglected” after her parents’ divorce, realised her mother would be of no help and went to seek help from the Chief Justice.

The CWC team of O.P. Singh, Yogendra Prasad, Afzal Hussain and Jahan Ara praised the girl. “She is mature. Her mother, whom we met yesterday (Tuesday), did not seem to be in a good mental state and needs immediate counselling,” CWC member Jahan Ara said.

Jahan Ara added the grandparents had been awarded a three-month custody for now. “We will come for surprise inspections to see how the girl fares,” she said.

The grandfather bemoaned the fact that his “educated and intelligent” daughter’s life had fallen apart. “My wife and I could not keep her with us in Ranchi. She grew up with her grandparents in Calcutta for which she resents us. I request her to differentiate between right and wrong and not harm herself,” he said.

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