PRERNA SODHI IN THE TIMES OF INDIA
NEW DELHI: More startling information has come to light in the Dwarka maid abuse case. The mother of the girl (13) has claimed she was with Delhi Police for three days after coming to Delhi on April 3, though cops at that time claimed in courtthat she was untraceable.
The woman was unable to give any names of the cops she spoke to or the police station where she was allegedly taken. She, however, said she stayed there for three days with policewomen.
She also claims to have met the accused doctor couple, Sanjay and Sumita Verma, in the police station when they were in two-day police custody after being arrested. “The doctors spoke to me one day. I did not want to talk to them much as they kept giving me harsh looks. They said that my daughter had no brains,” she said. “I was given a room where I stayed alone,” she said.
When contacted, additional DCP (southwest), Rishi Pal said, “We did not keep her in our custody for three days. There is no such record in the police station.” Rajan Bhagat, the PRO of Delhi Police, said, “This is a baseless claim. We produced her before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on April 7, the same day we located her in Punjabi Bagh.”
The mother”s allegations directly contradict what the cops claimed during the April 6 hearing at the Dwarka district court presided by duty magistrate Arul Varma.
The magistrate had asked the investigating officer about the mother”s whereabouts twice during the same hearing but the cops remained silent. In fact, the unavailability of the mother was one of the main factors cited by the judge in denying bail to Dr Sumita Verma that day. “It has been intimated by the IO that the whereabouts of the mother of the victim cannot be traced,” the court said while recording statements of all parties.
Based on this, the court pronounced, “There is every possibility that if the accused, Sumita Verma, is enlarged on bail, the mother of the child (the maid) may be influenced and the child may be coerced into retracting her statement,” said the MM.
The police produced the maid”s mother in front of the CWC on April 7, a day after the court hearing. It was on that day she says that she met her daughter after months.
“I met my daughter. She told me, “I have said everything to them, you don”t have to say anything”. She did not tell me what she had gone through,” said the mother.
TOI had reported that the girl”s mother was approached by two unidentified men at her village in Gumla and asked to accompany them to the capital. The police in Gumla said the woman had left before they could contact her.
The mother told TOI that she was approached by an agent, Mahadev, in Gumla. “Mahadev came to me and said my daughter wanted to blackjack online meet me. I asked him why he had not brought her along,” she said. She also says that it was the first time then that she had met Mahadev, who was also arrested and produced in court on April 6 along with the doctor couple. The doctor couple was granted bail on April 11 and April 12, beginning with Sumita.
The maid”s mother also said the night she stayed at Lal Quarter, Mahadev had asked her to lie about her daughter”s age. She said, “Mahadev threatened me and told me to say before the police that my daughter was 18 years old and that I was paid Rs 10,000 for her work.” She, however, claimed she was not paid a single rupee.
The woman also gave a detailed account of her daughter”s disappearance from their village in Gumla, eight- nine months ago. “They (traffickers) kept saying she would earn money and that I should let her go. I told them she should study. I was earning so that she didn”t have to. But they did not listen. Narayan Sahu (an accused in the case) forcefully took her from the village,” she said.
She said while her daughter was missing she kept asking Sahu for the girl”s contact information. It was only on Holi, she said, that he provided her with a number which incidentally belonged to Mukesh, manager of a placement agency in Delhi. “For six months they gave me no information. They kept assuring me my daughter was fine. When they gave me a number, it was switched off for almost a week. Then one day I got through and Mukesh told me he was not her employer,” she said.
Holding back her tears the mother said she wants to go back to their village and enroll her daughter in school again.