An Army major and his wife have been arrested in Assam’s Dima Hasao district for allegedly torturing their domestic help, a top police officer said on Tuesday.
Dima Hasao SP Mayank Kumar said they received information on Sunday that the minor girl, who had accompanied the couple to Palampur in Himachal Pradesh, was “tortured brutally”.
The 16-year-old girl, who had signs of injuries all over her body, was allegedly tortured for six months and starved by the couple. When she requested for food, they would make her eat from the garbage bin, the sources added.
The girl alleged she was stripped and thrashed until she bled, the extent of the torture being such that she was even forced to lick her own blood.
"She kept me locked me in a room, pulled my hair, and beat me. She was angry with my efficiency in household chores and beat me with a belan (rolling pin). She would strip me. She would beat me, and when I bled, she forced me to lick my own blood," the girl recounted the horror.
The accused couple have asserted that the girl incurred the injuries due to falling down from the stairs.
Kumar said a case has been registered at the Haflong Police Station under different sections of the Indian Penal Code, the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
“During investigation, prima facie evidence was found against the Army major and his wife, and they were arrested in connection with the case and forwarded to judicial custody,” the SP said.
He added that necessary assistance is being provided to the girl, including medical treatment.
“Further probe is underway. Strict action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation,” Kumar said.
The accused, who holds the rank of Major in Indian Army, had hired the girl for babysitting and taken her to Palampur in Himachal Pradesh where he is posted. It was here that that the girl underwent alleged torture for months.
Upon their return to Assam, she visited her family and disclosed what she went through. A prompt police complaint led to an FIR and the arrests.
The girl's mother told the media she could barely recognize her when she came home. "She only 16 but appeared like an elderly woman. She had broken teeth and burn marks on her face. Her ears were mutilated and had difficulty in speaking," she said.
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