Inside DRC

Congolese demand custody of slain woman’s daughter


Cyberabad police had a tough time on Friday dealing with nearly 20 Congolese who turned up at Shamshabad police station demanding custody of the daughter of a fellow national who was murdered three days ago allegedly by her Indian husband.

They walked into the station at around 10 a.m. and for the next two hours, they had discussions with the Station House Officer coupled with intermittent arguments and shouts.

A national of Democratic Republic of Congo, Cynthia Vechel, was murdered by her husband and Indian businessman Rupesh Kumar Mohanani. While her murder was shocking, many said the way Rupesh ‘butchered the body and tried to torch the severed parts’ was disturbing. The murder left the couple’s seven-year-old daughter, Sania’s future in limbo.

With the mother murdered and father lodged in prison, her only possible caretaker was her maternal uncle who was living with them in Gachchibowli.

The police initially decided to hand over the child’s custody to him.

But they realised they cannot do so after finding out that he was living in India without permission. “The child’s maternal uncle is Cynthia’s younger brother. He came to India on a three-month visa but is staying here for the past three years illegally,” Shamshabad ACP B. Anuradha said.

The illegal stay of the girl’s uncle invites penal action and he too would be jailed, the police said. The Congo ambassador to India, Mossi Nyamale Rosette, also visited the police station, requesting the police to hand over the custody of the child to them.

The police conveyed to the ambassador about the illegal stay of the girl’s uncle and expressed their inability to do so making it clear that the matter was with the magistrate concerned. On the day the murder was reported, police had sent the girl to the house of her paternal grandparents at Pdmaraonagar. “We had produced the girl too before the magistrate who directed that she be kept in the Government’s Home in Nimboliadda,” Cyberabad-West Commissioner Naveen Chand said. The girl would be taken to the magistrate on Friday for further directions in the case.

Mr. Naveen Chand said the police had no role in deciding in whose custody the child should be kept. The magistrate would take a call on the matter and might take into consideration the child’s opinion. Meanwhile, investigation of the case was transferred to the Cyberabad Central Crime Station.

 Hindu Times.

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