DWIPAYAN GHOSH / TIMES OF INDIA
Delhi: A 14-year-old girl from Assam was rescued from a Haryana village in a joint operation by cops from the city and Haryana and NGO Shakti Vahini. The rescuers overcame stiff resistance by the villagers, who claimed their “daughter-in-law” was five months pregnant. According to Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini, Shabnam (name changed) was lured out of Assam by someone, who promised to marry her. He brought her to Delhi and sold her off to one Rakesh for Rs 25,000 at a Daryaganj hotel. She was then taken to Shahpur village of Jind district. “Rakesh married her forcibly and subjected her to the worst form of slavery. She would perform household chores the whole day; and at night, Rakesh would torment her sexually,” said Rishi.
Earlier, the girl’s family had lodged a missing complaint with the Hajo police station in Assam on May 3. “One day, I read in the local newspaper that an Assamese girl was rescued in Delhi. Instantly, my wife and I came to Delhi and got in touch with the Child Welfare Committee. They told us that the rescued girl was not my daughter. Then one of the committee members gave me the contact number of Shakti Vahini and I approached them,” said Shabnam’s father. Meanwhile, the anti-human trafficking unit of Assam Police also contacted Shakti Vahini and requested them to assist the parents of the girl. The NGO then contacted the anti-human trafficking unit of Haryana Police. The girl was traced to Shahpur village and rescued. She was then taken for medical examination, where it was confirmed that she is five months pregnant.
“The girl was later produced before the SDM, Jind district, who sent her to the Nari Niketan at Karnal. Her parents were asked to produce documents to prove that they are her parents. An Assam Police team has arrived in the capital for further investigations and also facilitate the repatriation process of the victim,” said a Haryana Police officer.
“Her parents are in Jind, but the district administration has made it clear that it doubts that the family itself had sold her off. The girl has, however, expressed willingness to return home. We have lodged an FIR under sections 366A and 346 of the IPC. We will get her back,” said an Assam Police officer. Meanwhile, experts said trafficking in Haryana for forced marriages has reached an alarming proportions.