Autistic toddler allegedly assaulted at therapy centre

Boy’s mother notices nail marks on his body after therapy session, complains to police

A two-and-a-half-year-old boy was allegedly assaulted at a therapy centre in Karkhana during autism therapy sessions.

While a complaint was registered at the Karkhana police station on November 9, the alleged horrific incident came to light on Tuesday, after Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivas Rao responded to a video which the victim’s uncle had tweeted. The video purportedly showed injuries on the victim’s torso. “We filed an FIR against Pinnacle Therapists, sir please see below video my nephew is a victim of child abuse. Pinnacle Therapy was suppose to help my nephew with speech therapy, occupational therapy & behavioural therapy,” Twitter user Murali Krishna tweeted, even as he tagged handles of Information Technology Minister K T Rama Rao, Hyderabad City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar and the official Hyderabad City Police handle.

While Dr Srinivas Rao assured action, the Hyderabad City Police said that a First Information Report has been filed at the Karkhana police station. According to the FIR, the victim was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The victim’s mother A. Priyanka decided to take the victim for therapy sessions to Pinnacle centre. She paid an instalment of ₹ 56,000 by means of cheque for four months of therapy. Another final instalment of the same sum was paid a month later.

The complainant stated that on November 2, after completion of the two-hour session, when she was on her way back from Pinnacle centre, the victim was crying incessantly. It was only after they reached home, and when she was changing the victim’s clothes that she noticed nail marks on the victim’s body, which she said were a result of pinching. She went to the therapy centre and demanded to know how the victim was injured, and asked for CCTV footage. The administration allegedly refused to share any information, and spoke to her rudely.

She then approached the Karkhana police who registered a case under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act. An investigation is in progress.

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