Girl alleges rape forced miscarriage by placement agency owner

SHALINI NARAYAN IN THE INDIAN EXPRESS

She winces at the thought of the trauma she went through over the past five months in a city that was alien to her. She was allegedly raped and threatened by her placement agency owner who brought her to the city for employment as a domestic help.

On Friday night, it was only after she started bleeding profusely and was rushed to a nearby clinic by the agency owner that the 18-year-old realised she was pregnant and was going through a miscarriage.

The girl told police that the agency owner had made her take some pills after she informed him about her pregnancy, which led to the miscarriage. The man, identified as Rajesh, took her to the hospital and disappeared thereafter, police said.

 Police are now on the lookout for him and two of his associates, one of whom runs a separate placement agency in Chirag Dilli, Southeast Delhi.

 According to police, the girl, who hails from Gumla district in Jharkhand, was brought to the city five months ago by a woman named Kunti Devi, also from Gumla.

The victim told Newsline: “Kunti Devi came to my house last year and told me that she would take me to Delhi and find me a job. She brought me to Delhi. Kunti was quite well known in the village as she has brought several girls to the city,” she said.

Here, she was taken to ‘Rita Placement Agency’ in Aligaon. The agency, she told police, was being run by a man named Rajesh. “Kunti is Rajesh’s wife and as soon as we reached the agency, she left for our village,” the girl, who has studied till Class IV, said.

“I was made to stay in a room with 14 other girls. We were sent to various houses to work as domestic help and do daily chores,” she said. However, the girl said she was never paid. “We were told we would be given our salaries, but till now, I haven’t received anything,” she said.

 Two months into her stay in Delhi, Rajesh called her to his room. “He stays at the agency itself. He raped me and told me never to disclose the incident to anyone,” she said.

“I kept quiet as I was afraid he would hit me. Later, I learnt that he had raped another girl who he brought from Gumla. When she tried escaping, he thrashed her badly,” the girl said.

The girl said she worked simultaneously for another placement agency in Chirag Dilli, run by a man named Pancham. “We would alternate between the two agencies whenever there was shortage of helps,” she said.

 The girl, who has worked in two houses in Gurgaon and Faridabad as a help, said she was ill-treated by her employers as well.

 Rishikant, who runs Shakti Vahini, an NGO which rescued the girl, said, “We received a specific input that a tribal girl was brought to a clinic for an abortion. We met her and it was during counselling that’s she revealed her story. We have contacted the Resident Commissioner of Jharkhand and have requested the Mahila Samakhya (under the HRD Ministry) in Jharkhand to verify the girl’s address.”

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast) Meghna Yadav said, “A case has been registered at the Sarita Vihar police station. The matter is under investigation.”

SHALINI NARAYAN IN THE INDIAN EXPRESS

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