Deepika Ratan who was allegedly tortured and abused by her parents and ‘rescued’ by the Kalamboli police returned home on Wednesday.
Justice B N Kannade of the Bombay HC handed her over to her family. She was put up at an orphanage following a case of torture against her parents.
Ironically for someone who accused her parents of torture, Deepika happily hugged them, ran into her grandmother’s arms and kissed her sister and brother. She also told Mumbai Mirror that she was ‘very happy to go home’.
“I often tried to call up my parents, but people at the orphanage never let me speak to them,” said Deepika. “They would hit me and tell me to forget about my family.”
Sanjay Mullick of Vatsalya Trust, which manages the orphanage, told Mumbai Mirror that the ashram was ‘instructed’ not to let Deepika communicate with her family.
Notably, Deepika’s accusations do not have many takers. Her parents got bail as the charge was not proved. Neighbours at the family’s residence in Spaghetti Compound, Kharghar also contradicted her.
“I have never seen the Ratans misbehave with their kids [Divya (11), Deepika (9) and Nikhil (2)]. They are an educated and respected family,” said the building secretary A N Murrey. “She has no friends here,” said Shashikant Mule, a volunteer at Vatsalya Ashram in Sanpada, the orphanage where Deepika was put up. “She has been pampered by (Sr Inspector Shamsher Khan) Pathan who has showered her with expensive gifts.”
“Deepika is not like the other girls. She is very smart and perceptive,” said Mullick. “She is spoilt and is often found inventing stories.”
The case against the Ratans
Harvilas Ratan (37), a lab assistant at Bhartiya Vidyapeeth in Kharghar, and Parveen were booked under Sections 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the IPC. Parveen secured anticipatory bail. On February 2, Harvilas Ratan too was let out on bail by the Bombay HC.
The judge asked the Ratans to file a discharge petition on Friday. “We are confident that the case would be dismissed as the prosecution has failed to provide sufficient evidence of torture,” said Ratan’s lawyer P R Pandey.
Who is Inspector Pathan?
Shamsher Khan Pathan was a senior police inspector at Kalamboli police station at the time of the rescue. Today, he is posted at Rabale police station. He had ‘rescued’ Deepika and filed the case against her parents. While the Ratans ran from pillar to post trying to meet their child, Pathan called her every day. “I usually send her some nice gift every second day,” says Pathan. “I want to look after the girl. I can afford to look after her and have applied for foster parenting, as adoption is not possible.”