Woman in infamous child beating video pleads not guilty to abuse charge, while claims of the “father” fall apart.
- Man is uncle, not father
- Suspect is mother or aunt of the man, not mother-in-law
- Man’s wife is not mother of abused child
- Girl is not fourth child; she has no siblings
The woman in the infamous beating of a child in Puchong that was captured on a video that went viral, causing public outrage, was charged in the Sessions Court yesterday.
V Tanawali, 62, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge of abusing the six-year-old girl by beating her with a cane on the face, body, arms and legs at a house in Taman Puchong Perdana at 11:00 am in September last year.
The incident was at first thought to have taken place on Jun 5, the day the video was circulated.
After viewing the video and prior to her arrest, about 30 enraged people – believed to be neighbours – showed up at the suspect’s house to vent their anger. It was claimed that they threw stones at the house and threatened to break in.
On confronting the suspect, the mob discovered that the beating happened some time ago.
It was said that the person who recorded the video was the woman’s friend and she circulated the video after they had a disagreement.
The suspect, who was detained on Jun 6, was charged under Section 31 (1)(b) of the Child Act 2001 which provides a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment for up to 20 years, or both, if found guilty.
Deputy public prosecutor VV Suloshani, taking into consideration the seriousness of the crime, did not offer bail.
However, lawyer Datuk Suraj Singh, representing Tanawali, requested that his client be allowed bail as there was no risk of her fleeing.
The court then set bail at RM10,000 in one surety and fixed Jul 14 for mention.
It was learnt that the girl was left under the care of the woman after her mother died.
The woman had told the group who confronted her that she had adopted the girl. However, it was believed that she was the maternal grandmother. Some media reports said she was the grandaunt.
Meanwhile, a man who claimed to be the child’s father said he was alerted to the video by his wife who shared it with him.
He subsequently spoke on a Facebook video saying the blame should also rest on the person who recorded the footage of the abuse.
The man, who did not disclose his name, questioned the motive of the friend and her lack of effort to save the girl from the harsh actions of his “mother-in-law”.
“Why you didn’t help her? If that’s the case I would say both of you are involved in this case.
“I lodged a police report. I am not interested in punishing my mother-in-law but let the law take its course,” he said.
According to the man, the abused girl was his fourth child.
Since then, conflicting information has emerged, casting a suspicious light on the integrity of the self-proclaimed father.
It has come to light that the child’s mother had died of cancer when she was two and left her with an uncle after her father remarried, and she had been under the care of the suspect for over a year.
It is believed that the man is the uncle the child was entrusted to and the suspect is either his mother or aunt and not mother-in-law as he claimed.
There has been talk that the man had also abused the child on previous occasions. And that he called for the person who recorded the viral video to also be punished as well as put on a charade of being a caring family man to deflect attention from his own wrongful actions.
As we had said in our previous report, there is more than meets the eye in this child abuse case, and we may be closer to finding out the truth during the trial.
Meanwhile, it is a relief to know that the child is now safe in a welfare home.