As crimes against minors and children increase with each passing day, we cannot help but be convinced that the world is full of monsters, who do not have a shred of humanity in them. Assault is, in itself a disturbing crime but to do it to a child, crosses all levels of heinous behaviour.
Another incident was added to the evasion of justice for abuse victims when a 13-year-old boy was set on fire when he tried to run away from three drug addicts, who tried to sexually assault him.
The incident occurred in Goregaon’s Film City on December 28, 2017, when the minor was coming home with his 15-year-old deaf and mute friend when they were stopped by a group of druggies. When they tried to run away the boy was caught and taken to a jeep parked near the spot.
As reported by Midday, the minor’s mother narrated the entire ordeal her little boy went through and it’s absolutely heart-wrenching. She said,
“First, they tried to open his pants. When my son refused and began screaming for help, the group got agitated and poured thinner into his pants. Somehow, my son managed to free himself and began running away. But one of the threw a lit matchstick on the thinner, setting his pants on fire.”
The boy then ran on the road with his friend trying to douse the fire. He spotted a tub of water near a garage and jumped into it.
Fortunately, aid was quick to arrive in the form of a film editor, Yogiraj Shetty, who with the help of some locals, wrapped the boy in a blanket and took him to a nearby hospital from where the boy’s parents were informed.
The boy sustained 50 percent burns and was transferred to the Kasturba hospital for treatment.
However, the delay in action by the police has upset the family deeply as they registered an FIR nine days after the incident. The family has also alleged that the police is forcing them to compromise with the accused.
The police, however, has claimed that the family did not mention abuse when their statement was initially recorded.
Recalling the lack of action from the police, the grandmother also alleged that the police did not record their statement in front of her. Elaborating on how the Dindoshi police handled the matter, she said,
Once, Pawar called us to the police station and took us to the senior’s cabin, where the accused and his relatives were also present. He took our phones and began recording the conversation from his phone. The accused forced us to withdraw the case, lured us in front of the senior inspector by offering to pay the damages and promising to provide for the child his whole life. But we refused. Even today, all the accused are walking free, some of them have come to the hospital and are offering money and pressuring us to withdraw the case. All this is being done because of the police. I want justice; the people who have done this should get strict punishment.”
“I had spoken to my son and I told the cops whatever he told me, but they did not mention it in the FIR. They had recorded my statement in Marathi, which I do not understand. I don’t know based on what he has taken [our] signatures without making me understand what is written against my name. Every time we ask the officer about the development in our case, we are just turned away from the police station.
Cops also alleged that the accused and victim know each other as they both reside in the same locality and that they would solve it among themselves. They have also alleged that during the investigation, it was revealed that the victim was also a drug addict. They said,
“On the day of the incident, they were all smelling the rolled cloths; in the meantime, someone lit a matchstick and the minor’s kerchief came in contact with it and caught fire.”
The boy is in critical condition due to the nature of his injuries. Looking at the twists in the case, it might be quite some time before the actual incident is revealed.