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Ramakanta Biswas

A seven-year-old girl was allegedly starved and subjected to inhumane torture for more than one year by her own father and stepmother. The girl hailing from Pipili area in Puri district has been in the custody of her father after the divorce of her parents a year back. 

The plight of the minor girl came to light after her own mother rescued her from the ‘hell’ and admitted her to Capital hospital in Bhubaneswar. 

Due to starvation, the girl has been reduced to bones. Lying on the hospital bed, the malnourished girl managed to utter a few words narrating her ordeal. She said her father, Bilal Khan of Pipili inflicted serious burn injuries on her fingers by putting them into hot milk. “I was starved and given stale food and pakhala,” she said.

The girl’s mother, Rizwana Parveen, who rescued her and admitted her to Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar demanded stringent punishment for the culprits. 

“My daughter told me that she was being beaten with broom and kicked frequently. Her step-mother even tried to strangulate her. Why he (Bilal) had taken the custody of my daughter, if he had to torture my daughter. They must get adequate punishment for subjecting my daughter to such inhuman torture,” she said.

According to sources, Rizwana married Bilal in 2013. However, their relation stained and they mutually divorced in 2020. The custody of the girl was given to Bilal. 

The minor girl’s life turned from bad to worse when her father got married for the second time. Bilal along with his present wife allegedly started torturing the girl. They used to sickle her, it was alleged.  

When Rizwana learnt about the condition of her daughter, she with the help of a social activist rescued her. 

Bilal, however, dismissed the allegations of torture and attributed his daughter’s bad health condition to psychological stress. 

“I never beat up or starved her. She inflicted the burn injuries by putting her fighters into boiling milk when I was away. Her health condition deteriorated as she was in stress and missing her mother,” said Bilal.

Sakabat Ali Khan, village head, said “The issue has been resolved. The girl will now live with her mother. Bilal has given Rs 30,000 for her maintenances.” 

While no police complaint has been lodged in this regard, the girl’s mother said she will lodge a formal complaint after she recovers.

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