The Navi Mumbai police have arrested a 45-year-old man on charge of raping his daughter for six years since she was seven. The accused, a fruit vendor, had earlier sexually assaulted his 17-year-old daughter also, according to police.
The victim, who is 13 now and a a student of class seven, mustered courage to speak to her teacher about the incident after attending a counselling session on child abuse in her school in Vashi. In a letter to the class teacher, the girl narrated her ordeal.
"My father raped me and my mother is not helping," the letter read, the Mid-Day reported.
The alarmed teacher then contacted an NGO in Vashi, seeking its assistance. The NGO helped the girl file an FIR against her parents at Vashi police station on Monday night.
Police booked her parents under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code, along with Section 5(L)(N) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. They arrested the father and produced him before a Thane court, which sent him to judicial custody till July 23.
In her police complaint, the girl has also accused her mother of not acting against her father. She alleged that her mother would watch silently as he raped her. She added that her mother would later give her some pills to eat.
"Whenever my brothers weren't at home, my father would take advantage of the opportunity and rape me inside my house, in front of my mother. I had complained to my mother several times, but she never helped me," she told the police.
"My father raped me in front of my mother. After this, my mother would then offer me some pills. He has been raping me since I was seven years old. Despite complaining to my mother, she refused to help me," the girl said in her complaint.
However, the girl's mother claimed to have no knowledge about the incident until a fortnight ago. She said that she warned him to stay away from their daughter soon after learning about it.
The police are, however, investigating the mother's role based on the girl's complaint. They suspect the pills given to the girl by her mother were for contraception. The police said they will arrest the mother once the allegations are established.
"We have arrested the father, but are investigating as to what exact role her mother played. The young girl has told us that her mother has offered her some medicine. We will verify what medicines were given to her. Once these details are confirmed, we will arrest the mother too," Deputy Commissioner of Police Shahaji Umap (Navi Mumbai Zone I) said.
The girl approached her school teacher after she was refused help by everyone, including her neighbours, who asked her to go to police on her own.
The arrested man has three sons apart from the two daughters. The eldest daughter does not stay with the family. The young girl had told about the incident to her elder sister as well, police added.