Police arrest Vasco woman for torturing 8 ‘adopted’ minor girls


VASCO: The Vasco police Saturday late night arrested a 65-year-old woman Venus Habib, a resident of Baina, on the charges of kidnapping, torturing and assaulting eight adopted schoolgirls, aged between 11 and 12, who were studying in a reputed school in Vasco.

The police rescued the victim girls, who have now been sent to Apna Ghar, a protective home, at Merces.

According to the police, a girl from Mangor-Hill in the port town noticed some burn injuries on the hands of the victim schoolgirls when they visited a church based at Mangor-Hill for prayers on Saturday evening. The girl immediately dialled 1098 Childline India Foundation, which, in turn, intimated the Vasco police about the incident.

The Vasco police team led by police sub-inspector Ritesh Tari under the supervision of police inspector Nolasco Raposo and deputy superintendent of police, Vasco, Sunita Sawant, with the required police force, raided two flats belonging to the accused and located near the Baina beach and rescued the eight adopted schoolgirls.

“The accused Habib had adopted eight girls, aged between 11 and 12 years, who were schooling in a reputed school based in the heart of the town,” said the investigating police officer Tari. He said that the accused used to torture the victims regularly and assault them with a belt and water pipes. The police have noticed some burn injuries on the hands of the victims.

Police tried to verify documentation related to the adoption of the girls. However, nothing was found in the accused’s possession.

The police have registered an offence under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 324 (simple injuries) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 8 of Goa Children’s Act and the accused woman has been placed under arrest. She was produced before the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Vasco, on Sunday and remanded to five-day police custody. Meanwhile, the Vasco police have sealed the two flats belonging to the accused woman.