Multiple wounds on her scalp and lower limbs, a fractured backbone and little or no glucose and haemoglobin in her blood bore testimony to the brutality she had been subjected to.
The woman’s mother and aunt had rushed to Delhi five days ago, but weren’t allowed in the ICU. All they could do now was pray for her recovery, and hope that they get to be by their daughter’s side.
On Wednesday morning, that hope too was snuffed out after the 25-year-old succumbed to her injuries after valiantly defying death for 15 days.
“She was trafficked to Delhi two years ago. We had come to Delhi last year and met the man who had brought her here. He then, however, did not let us meet her and we had to return. This time around, we were informed that she had been admitted to a hospital. We again rushed to Delhi to be by her side but could not meet her as she was in the ICU. Now, we will return with her body,” said the tribal girl’s mother, who looked visibly shattered.
The woman’s family hails from a tribal area in Malda and cannot speak proper Hindi. On December 19, the woman was rescued from a house in Mukherjee Nagar and she was admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.
“The girl has been subjected to extreme torture and abuse and was bedridden. Her condition was horrifying and she had several marks of abuse and neglect on her body. She even complained of having been beaten up with iron rods. Later, with our intervention, she was rescued from the house of her trafficker and shifted to Max Hospital, Saket, for better care. But unfortunately, we couldn’t save her,” said Swati Maliwal, chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women.
The woman, in her statement from the hospital bed, had told police about the brutality and said that she had not been paid a single rupee for the last 2 years.
“We have added section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of Indian Penal Code in the existing FIR. We have the woman’s statement. Her employer, who runs a UPSC coaching institute in Mukherjee Nagar, has been arrested. We have constituted a board to conduct the post mortem and once the report is out, we will further probe the matter. Initial investigations suggest that the death is not only due to injuries but also because her employer never gave her proper food to eat. She was very weak,” said DCP (northwest) Dumbre Millind.
Rishi Kant of NGO Shakti Vahini — which is assisting the woman’s family in Delhi — said accountability should be fixed in such inhumane cases.
“The employer of the girl should also be booked under the tribal act. The government team from Bengal is on its way to take the body back, as the family cannot afford to pay for transportation. Delhi government should release compensation for the woman,” Kant said.