An ASHA worker was arrested and two missing minor girls were rescued from her house in Bihar’s Katihar district, 325 km east of state capital, Patna, on Wednesday.
ASHA is an acronym for Accredited Social Health Activist, trained to trained to act as health educator and promoter in her community.
Katihar superintendent of police (SP) SM Jain said ASHA worker Kalawati, 40, arrested from Labha village in Roshna police outpost (OP) area, was being interrogated to find out if she was member of a child trafficking gang.
Jain said one of the rescued girl had been identified as Sonia Hembram, 6, a kindergarten class student of Mary Immaculate School at Barmasia in Katihar Town police station area. “The police have rescued one more girl from Kalawati’s house, but her identity has not yet been ascertained,” Jain told reporters.
The SP said Hembram had moved into the school hostel about six months back.
“On May 7 Kalawati spotted the girl playing outside the school and lured the child into accompanying her. The ASHA worker and Hembram then boarded a train to reach Labha village, 50 km east of Katihar,” he said.
The next day, Ful Kumari, mother of the child and resident of Sirkatta village in Barari police station area of the district, lodged an FIR at Katihar Town police station, accusing the school administration of kidnapping her daughter, the SP added.
Hembram had been reunited with her parents, the SP said. The other rescued girl would be handed over to her parents after her identity was established, he added.
After being rescued on Wednesday, Hembram said she had accompanied Kalawati after the ASHA worker had introduced herself as her mausi (mother’s sister).
Kalawati, however, said she was innocent. “I found Hembram crying at Katihar railway station and took her to my village. I did exactly what I thought was proper for the safety of the child,” she said.
The school administration remained tightlipped over safety arrangements for children in the hostel. “We can’t say anything in this regard,” said a teacher without disclosing her identity as she was not authorised to speak on the matter.
Courtesy: Hindustan Times