Trafficked tribal girl found dead under mysterious circumstances

Mysterious DeathTHE HINDU

A minor tribal Christian girl trafficked to Delhi from Jharkhand about a year ago and placed as a domestic help died under mysterious circumstances at her employer’s residence in neighbouring Ghaziabad about a fortnight ago. While the Jharkhand Police was not intimated about the incident, the victim’s body was consigned to flames following the post-mortem, which was conducted purportedly in the absence of any family member.

The matter came to light when placement agency representatives recently contacted the girl’s relatives to inform them about her death.

Subsequently Jharkhand Inspector General (Criminal Investigation Department) Anurag Gupta took up the issue and contacted non-government organisation Shakti Vahini seeking its assistance. Members of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) also took cognisance and a two-member team also initiated an enquiry.

“The 16-year-old tribal girl was brought from Lohardaga in Jharkhand to Delhi by a woman named Satya Oraoin and handed over to one Sita Ram last July. Claiming that she was 18 years of age, a domestic help agency placed her at a house in Indirapuram. The agency charged Rs.20,000 as commission for the same. The girl was to be paid a salary of Rs.3,000, but we suspect that she did not receive a single penny,” said Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini.

On the evening of June 19, the employer called up the local police and claimed she had hanged herself.

“The police got the post-mortem done at a local hospital, after which the body was handed over to one Santosh. Preliminary enquiries have suggested that he was not the deceased’s relative. The post-mortem should not have been conducted in the absence of a family member. Although the girl was Christian, the body was consigned to flames around 10 p.m. on June 20. Police documents also mention her as a Hindu,” said Mr. Kant.

The NGO representative said despite the girl dying about 20 days ago, the Ghaziabad Police was yet to give any intimation to their Jharkhand counterparts.

“It suggests that no concrete attempt was made by the police to trace the victim’s family,” alleged Mr. Kant.

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