September 30, 2020

Girl rescued from traffickers

Patna: Bihar’s Seemanchal area has reported the first case of trafficking under the pretext of marriage after the Union cabinet okayed the anti-human trafficking bill.

The minor from Katihar was rescued from the clutches of traffickers on Friday night by social activists, who was sold on the pretext of marriage to the traffickers. According to social activist Shilpi Singh of the non-government organisation Bhoomika Vihar, who helped in rescuing the girl, the traffickers had paid Rs 10,000 to the girl’s parents.

Social activist Shilpi said she found henna designs on the girl’s palm and sindoor on her forehead after she was rescued.

“Through residents we got to know that Muslim women in that area apply vermillion on their forehead only on the day of marriage. It is a local custom there. We were surprised to find henna and sindoor on her in the first place, said Shilpi.

She added: “The trafficker have admitted to have paid Rs 10,000 to the girl’s parents. The groom, Mazhar Hussain, claimed that he married the girl while another person who was with the groom, admitted that earlier also they had paid some amount to some other girls’ parents in the village and the girls were later trafficked. This is the first case of trafficking under the pretext of marriage in the Seemanchal area after the Union cabinet’s approval to the anti-human trafficking bill recently.”

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018, that was okayed by the Union cabinet this February has a wider domain and it covers trafficking of a woman or child for the purpose of marriage or under the pretext of marriage.

An FIR was lodged against four of the five traffickers in connection with the case on Friday night itself at Kodha police station in Katihar soon after the girl was rescued.

“Section 373 of the Indian Penal Code that talks about buying minor for the purpose of prostitution has been mentioned in the FIR,” said a cop with the Kodha police station in Katihar, where the FIR was lodged, on condition of anonymity.

Three people, including the groom, were arrested.

He added: “The 40-year-old groom, Mazhar Hussain, who paid money for the marriage, belongs to Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur district. The rescued girl was relative of village panchayat’s ward member but neither the ward member nor the mukhiya had helped in the rescue operation of the girl, stated the FIR lodged by the activists.”

The girl who was rescued from the traffickers had acted weird after she was rescued. “She could not give us details of her nikaah (marriage). She could only tell us that her parents were poor and thus whatever happened was her fate. We also found a 100-rupee note in her hand which she said was given to her by her ammi (mother). The girl also said that she was withdrawn from school in Class I,” added Shilpi.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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