In a living nightmare to any parent, a couple in Kharghar found their 9-month-old daughter with brutal bruises on her face and body after being manhandled by a maid in day care centre.
Mid-Day in its report said that Rajat Sinha, 31, and his wife Ruchita, 29, are working professionals and decided to drop in their daughter Ritisha, in Purva Nursery and day care centre in their vicinity after all due checks and advices from people. On November 21, they dropped off Ritisha at 8:30 am, and also double checked for any possible issues.
“We made all required enquiries, spoke to parents of other kids at the centre. We also ensured that the centre has a CCTV camera, so we could check on our child. Since it was the first day, my wife was calling at the centre at almost every hour to check if everything was okay. My mother-in-law also made a few rounds to the centre. Both were repeatedly told that Ritisha was fine,” Rajat Sinha said.
However, when the mother reached at 7 pm to pick her up, she saw the bruises, but centre owner assured her that Ritisha had just hurt herself while playing. Baby Ritisha cried at home continuously and refused to eat anything, and “At night, when we changed her clothes, we were shocked to see more bruises on her back and behind her ear as well. We took her to doctor the next day, and were informed that our daughter got those marks because she had been beaten up,” he added.
When the couple decided to confront day care centre, and asked for CCTV footage, the owner asked them to file a police complaint first, which they did in Khargar police station. However, what they saw next in CCTV footage was beyond their comprehension. CCTV footage showed the little girl being yanked by her arm and flung down by the maid, who also slapped her repeatedly.
The couple said, “It was inhuman. The maid was manhandling my daughter — hitting her with toys and throwing her on the mat. We just saw what she did to my baby, who knows how she is treating the other kids at the centre.”
Based on the CCTV footage, an FIR was filed in the wee hours yesterday, and the police arrested both the maid Afsana Shaikh, and the centre’s owner Priyanka Nikam under Sections 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 34 (common intention) of the IPC, along with Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
“The owner has been released on bail, while the maid remains in magisterial custody. The owner has stated that the incident happened while she was out for lunch. The maid is actually a cleaner at the centre but was looking after the children that day because the regular maids were on leave. We will now scrutinise CCTV footage of the entire day to see if any other child was harmed,” said API Sunil Thopate, Investigating officer from Kharghar police.
Later when Rishita became feverish and started vomiting, the parents contacted doctor again. With the CT scan, doctor revealed that Ritisha has a small fracture at the back of her skull, which led to internal bleeding. She is now under observation for two days at the Fortis Hospital in Vashi.