Earlier this week, 8 girls between the ages of 6 and 12 were found in an apartment in Vasco’s Baina locality. Sources say that these 8 abuse victims were allegedly being held captive by one Venus Habib, a 65-year-old woman who also allegedly tortured and assaulted them. The story unraveled this past Sunday when one sharp-eyed local saw one of the girls in church with an injured arm. He got the story from the girl and went straight to the local authorities in Vasco. Following which the police raided the apartment of Venus Habib and found a total of 7 girls being held against their will.
The police say that they bore marks on their bodies from alleged beatings from a pipe as well as branding from a hot knife. A case has been registered against Ms. Habib and the girls are now ensconced in Apna Ghar after giving statements to the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) on Tuesday.
Police heading to Andhra Pradesh to gather more information about alleged abuse victims
While statements have been taken and the accused is remanded to custody, the police will visit Andhra Pradesh to gather more intel on the story of the ‘adopted’ girls.
Investigating officer, Ritesh Tari told the Navhind Times that Habib had held the 8 alleged abuse victims in captivity at her 2 apartments Beach View Housing Society, near Baina beach. The girls told the police that she would attack them with a pipe as well as a knife for petty reasons.
Tari further said that from the information they have so far, Habib has been adopting girls from Andhra Pradesh that have been disowned by their families.
“The police team would soon visit Andhra Pradesh to find out the facts, whether she was adopting the girls or purchasing them by luring their parents,” Tari said.
He also said that there was a possibility others were also involved in the adoption of the girls. The police intend on examining the case from every angle.
“The JMFC Vasco has recorded the statements of all the victims and it has been kept confidential,” said Tari. The confidential report (statement copies) will be sent to the Children’s Court, Panaji.
The Children’s Court will hear arguments on the bail plea of Habeeb on April 19.
Information credit – The Navhind Times