The below case pertains to August 2015, however, the same must be reported to show other side of Mothers, who are considered next to God by judiciary in Child Custody cases during separation between couples.
13-year-old Chaitanya Balpande, was allegedly beaten to death by his mother Rakhi and her boyfriend in August 2015, because the accused woman wanted to claim Rs 10 lakh insurance policy. The 38-year-old woman was sentenced to 10-years of rigorous imprisonment by the Sessions Court in November 2018.
As reported by Mid Day in 2015, the Pune police reached this suspicion of mother being the murderer, after talking to family members and neighbours of the household.
The accused allegedly beat up her son repeatedly to subdue him. She would allegedly starve the partially disabled Chaitanya from time to time, force him to exercise for four hours and keep him up late at night. Rakhi had also threatened to file a kidnapping case against her own mother when the latter said she would take Chaitanya with her to save him from her abuse. A female neighbour who tried to intervene was kept at bay with the threat of filing a molestation case against her husband.
Speaking to Mid Day, Assistant Inspector Suryakant Marode of the Vishrantwadi police station, who was investigating the case, then said,
Rakhi’s estranged husband, Tarun, had taken out an insurance policy in Chaitanya’s name and she wished to present the murder as a case of accidental death, which is why she kept cooking up various theories. We are further investigating the case and will arrive at a conclusion by August 14, after recording the statements of Rakhi’s mother and her husband Tarun.
A senior officer then said,
Rakhi was aware that her husband, Tarun, had taken out a Rs. 10-lakh insurance in Chaitanya’s name and had insisted that she be named the beneficiary when the divorce talks were on. Accordingly, Rakhi and her alleged boyfriend, Sumit More, hatched a plot to portray Chaitanya’s death as an accidental one so she could claim the money from the insurance policy.
Chaitanya was taken to the hospital by Rakhi on August 5. She had initially claimed he had suffered a fall in the bathroom. According to autopsy, Chaitanya died due to ‘blunt force trauma to the chest and abdomen’. Rakhi later confessed to have thrashed him with a bat.
However, she later claimed she had done so because he had made sexual advances towards her. Medical and police reports suggested that the death occurred after the teenager was repeatedly beaten with a cricket bat.
The bat had been sent to a forensic laboratory in Pune, according to Mid Day. Rakhi’s alleged boyfriend Sumit More, who was also the landlord of the flat she was living in, was arrested as co-accused and had been remanded in police custody till August 12.
Rakhi was presented before the judicial magistrate.
Statement of Father Who Lost His Son
Rakhi’s husband Tarun Balpande then said,
In the past, Rakhi had registered two cases and three non-cognisable offences against me. She had demanded Rs 25 lakh in our divorce settlement and had also insisted that she should be named the beneficiary in a Rs. 10-lakh policy that I had taken out in my son’s name.
Family members said that Rakhi would force her partially disabled son to exercise for four hours a day and kept him up late at night. On being asked why she did all of this, she’d reply saying that she was training her son to join the army.
Chaitanya was my only hope and I lived for him. I had placed my faith in the judiciary and hoped that I would get my son back one day. Last year, Rakhi had demanded Chaitanya’s custody saying she needed him for a few rituals because her father had passed away. She never returned Chaitanya to me. I cannot believe this is the same person I married fifteen years ago. And, because of a delay in justice, I lost my son.
Statement of Rakhi’s Mother & Sister
Rakhi’s mother knew about her daughter’s behaviour with her grandson. She then quoted,
Rakhi was never a supportive mother. Chaitanya was an excellent singer and took part in Indian Idol and even cleared the first two rounds. But she never sent him to singing classes or encouraged him to do better.
In fact, my daughter never fed him sufficient food and forced him to wash utensils and clothes while threatening him with dire consequences if he did not work as per her instructions. I had educated my daughters on dealing with hardships but never knew that Rakhi would turn out to be so bitter.
Rakhi’s sister said,
Rakhi was never a good mother. She never cooked for Chaitanya and kept him isolated. Chaitanya was a charming boy and he would never even try to get physically intimate with his mother. I know this because I’ve taken care of him several times. She is fabricating the case.
Statement of Neighbour
Puja Patil, a neighbour said also corroborated the mother and sister of the accused. She said,
Many a time, we used to hear loud noises of Chaitanya being beaten, but we could not help him. If we would try and intervene, she would hurl abuses at us and threaten us saying she would lodge a molestation case against my husband. The boy was innocent and would occasionally speak to me through the window when Rakhi locked him in.
Chaitanya went without a meal on several nights. A cake and biscuits would be his meal on several occasions. There have been times when she got home, dressed up and left, with Chaitanya locked inside. I think he missed his father a lot and wished to speak to him. I treated him like my own son and, because I cared for him, Rakhi would always pick fights with me.
Pune Sessions Court (November 2018)
As reported by Pune Mirror in November 2018, District Government Pleader Ujwala Pawar, who represented the prosecution, argued that the mother should get maximum punishment as she had brutally killed her son who was a minor and disabled. However, the Sessions Court found Rakhi guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced her only to 10 years in prison.
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