A number of people played Santa Claus to 5-year-old Shailendra Gupta (Golu) who was separated from his mother Geeta when his father Vijaykumar Gupta abandoned her for another woman and ran away with him.
Shiv Sena activist Sachin Khandave, 38, who came to know about the incident, rescued Golu with the help of other party activists. The boy who was tortured, was treated in a hospital and was handed over to the Society Of the Friends Of Sassoon Hospital (SOFOSH) for care and shelter.
The police, with the help from Childline people, contacted his mother in Madhya Pradesh and called her to take custody of her son. She arrived in Pune on the Christmas Eve to reunite with her son.
Geeta was married to Vijaykumar Gupta in 2003 and Golu was their only son. The couple, along with Golu, moved to Pune Madhya Pradesh (MP) on October 15 this year in search of employment.
Vijaykumar was working with a security agency and came home late every day after work. One day, he abandoned Geeta and took away Golu with him. He then got married to Manju, 35, and setteled in Lohegaon. A helpless Geeta sold her gold jewellery and moved back to Katara in Madhya Pradesh to be with her brother Satyanarayan Gupta.
Vijaykumar and Manju lived in a small house in Lohegaon with Golu. Golu was locked up in the house and was not allowed to either go to school or to play. Vijaykumar would often beat Golu and punish him by hanging him upside down. Manju, on the other hand, did not give him food to eat.
The incident came to light when Shiv Sena activist Sachin Khandave got information about it. “Our female activist Pushpa Shendge was Vijaykumar’s neighbour. She heard Golu’s cries for help and approached us. I instructed her to crash into their house and rescue Golu. She did exactly that with other activists” said Khandave.
Golu was found to be battered and bruised and was seen hanging upside down from the ceiling.
“We found Golu in an unconscious state hanging upside down from the ceiling. He was immidiately rushed to the hospital. He was treated for eight days after which we decided to move him to SOFOSH for further care. PSI Anand Shahane was informed about the whole episode.
While Vijaykumar ran away, Manju is now in police custody,” said Khandave.