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Minor girl trafficked to Haryana rescued

GUWAHATI: A 14-year-old girl who went missing from Guwahati two months back has been rescued from Hisar in Haryana where she was sold off for Rs one lakh only to be harassed sexually and physically.

The victim, Jahnavi (name changed), was rescued in a joint operation by Shakti Vahini NGO and Haryana Police from Mahenda village, Hisar on August 23.

She was kidnapped from her native place two months back by one Safiqul and was sold off to a man aged between 45-50 years for Rs one lakh.

Rishi Kant from Shakti Vahini said that Jahnavi was told by the perpetrators that one Dharmender would marry her. However, she was kept in confinement at Dharmender’s house where he used to exploit her sexually and physically.

“She was kept like a sex slave. She was forced to do all the household chores, from looking after buffaloes to cleaning, cooking etc., in the day time and sexual exploitation at night,” Rishi Kant said.

Trafficking of minor girls for the purpose of forced marriage has emerged as one of the most serious crimes in the country. West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Orissa etc., are the most vulnerable States from where minor girls mostly are being trafficked to States like Haryana where there is a skewed sex ratio and are sold off to middle aged men as slaved brides.

In most of the cases the identity of those girls, from their names to cultural traits, are being changed.

Conversation with the child revealed that she was brought to Delhi by one Safiqul and his acquaintance who abducted her from her native place.

The victim told police that initially the accused kept her in a hotel near Jama Masjid in Delhi for a week where Safiqul too had exploited her sexually. After a week, Dharmender approached Safiqul who then sent her along with him to Hisar.

She said, “Dharmender told me that he had bought me for Rs 1 lakh. I told him that I will pay him a lakh if he allowed me to go back home. But he never listened and instead, he used to beat me, scratch my hand with blades, pour hot water and sexually exploit me. I do not want to stay here…please take me back home.”

When the rescue team first met the child, she maintained the ‘pardah system’ as part of the cultural traits of Haryanvi women. Only after the counsellor in the rescue team spoke in Assamese, she removed the veil and held his hand pleading for rescue.

“We received information from the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Guwahati regarding the disappearance of the child. As per information, she was kept in a village in Hisar. Accordingly, we approached the Additional Superintendent of Police, Hisar and requested his assistance and as per his guidance, a rescue operation was conducted. The child was recovered and one accused was also detained by police. A police team from Assam is on its way for further legal process,” Rishi Kant told this reporter.

After the rescue, the child was medically examined. The information regarding rescue of the child was also shared with the Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Hisar and as per their telephonic direction, the child was provided shelter at a Children’s Home for further care and protection.

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