Hyderabad: The injuries and scars all over her body bear testimony to the cruel torture she was subjected to by her father and stepmother for over a year.
The shocking incident came to light on Wednesday at L.B. Nagar here when a non-governmental organisation with the help of police rescued the 17-year-old girl.
Crying inconsolably, a physically and mentally disturbed Pratyusha narrated the stories of horror, bringing tears to the eyes of scores of child rights activists and sympathisers who rushed to L.B. Nagar police station after learning about the incident.
There was no part of her body which did not bear the torture marks. There were deep scars on her face while an eye was swollen. The parents apparently tortured her with burning cigarettes and hot iron rods and also threw acid on her face.
The couple used the girl like a slave by forcing her to do all the household work and beat her with sticks, electric wires and stones if they found any fault with the work. She was denied food and the stepmother used to serve her only chilli powder and salt to eat.
Police have arrested Pratyusha's stepmother Shyamla while her father Ramesh, a junior telecom officer in Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), is absconding. Police have launched an investigation and sent the girl to a hospital.
The couple also accused the girl of having a bad character. The stepmother alleged that her boyfriend was instigating her against them and also claimed that the injuries were self inflicted.
Pratyusha's father and mother Sarala separated in 2003. Following the death of her mother in 2010, her maternal uncle admitted her in an orphanage. Last year, Ramesh brought her home from the orphanage.
Pratyusha's story sent shock waves through the people. A large number of women, including activists and lawyers, reached the police station to enquire about the girl.
They demanded that police book the couple for attempt to murder and appealed to lawyers not to argue their case in court.