For the past three years, she had been keeping quiet about the ordeal that she faced every time her neighbour found her alone at home. But Monday turned into the final straw when the 28-year-old married man tried to touch her inappropriately, again.
The 10-year-old girl finally opened to her mother and told her how the man used to rape her whenever she was alone at home in east Delhi's New Ashok Nagar.
The accused, a computer engineer, is married and has been living in the locality for the past five years. He was a frequent visitor to the girl's house for the past three years. To gain the trust of the family, the man initially offered them help whenever required and used to visit their house on the pretext of playing with the girl. The abuse began a few months after he gained their confidence and the girl's parents let her stay alone with him when they went out for work.
Some time ago, the mother noticed that the girl was not her usual chirpier self and had gone quiet, but even after asking her what the matter was the 10-year-old elicited no response. The girl had even stopped going out to play.
Seeing the girl crying after getting back home from school on Monday, her mother sat down with her and persistently asked what was wrong. This was when she broke down and told her mother everything that had happened in the past three years.
The girl said that before leaving the house he used to warn her that he would do the same with her mother if she told anyone that she had been sexually assaulted. Scared that her mother might meet the same fate, she decided to stay quiet.
The mother then called the police and lodged a complaint.
"The man was arrested from his house. The girl has been sent for counselling," said a senior police officer.