Mumbai: A special court designated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on Thursday sentenced a 44-year-old neighbour to ten years in prison for sexually abusing a 11-year-old child who called him ‘maama’.
The man was an electrician by profession and got acquainted with the family for over a year before the incident, after they came to stay on rent in a building in Chembur. In her testimony the child, at the age of 13, told the court that he would tell the victim, then studying in Class 6, that her mother had asked him to look after her when she was not home. She told he would pull her close, tell that he loves her and start touching her inappropriately. Special Public Prosecutor Geeta Sharma said the child had not revealed the matter to her parents as he had told her that if she did so, he would have to go to jail.
The child’s mother, who worked as a cook during the time, in her deposition told the court said she considered the man as her brother and was in shock when she came to know about his behaviour. The accused had taken the defence that the false complaint was filed against him by the mother as they had an extra-marital affair and she was pressured by her husband to file the complaint.
The incident came to light as the child, who suffered pain in her private part due to the acts, confided in her friend about it. The friend told their school teacher who in turn informed the child’s mother. A police complaint was lodged after the mother enquired with the child and she revealed her ordeal.