Piecing together the 10-year-old ordeal of a woman, who was sold multiple times, held captive and gang-raped all these years by men in four different states, police have arrested eight men. The eight men, include two senior citizens, aged 61 and 70, who had forced her into marriage.
The woman, a rape victim, escaped her kidnappers and returned home after 10 years, last month. Now 22-year-old, she was kidnapped at the age of 12 from her home in northeast Delhi.
Police said that following the woman’s return, they recorded her statement and quizzed over 400 people in Punjab, Gujarat, West Bengal, Haryana and Delhi. On August 2, she and her mother approached the police and complained that on September 9, 2006, she was going to her sister’s house when she was kidnapped by a man and a woman.
The two overpowered her near her house and forced her to sniff a handkerchief, after which she fell unconscious.
The woman said that she was then taken to Punjab and Gujarat and gang-raped. Her tormentors also forced her to work on the fields in Gujarat before selling her to two men in 2009. In 2009, she was sold nine times, she told police.
DCP (North East) AK Singla said they have arrested eight people, including Ranju, 35, and her husband Shyam Sunder, 35. The two had kidnapped her from near her house and taken her to Ambala. Babli, 47, who bought her for Rs 12,000 was arrested along with another buyer Sarup Chand of Punjab, 61, who had paid Rs 10,000 for her. Police said Chand is a tout and a mediator who bought the woman for his contacts Partap Singh, 70, and Jagshir Singh, 35. Partap had bought her for Rs 20,000 and got the woman married to his son Jagshir in 2006. The two have also been arrested from Punjab.
In 2009, the father-son duo sold the woman to another man Roda Singh, who is absconding. Two men, Makkan Singh and Birender Singh, who were involved in selling the woman have been arrested.
The woman had earlier told HT that in all those years, her rapists also burnt her with cigarettes. Last month, she had met a woman, while being forced to work in a dance bar. The woman after hearing her ordeal helped her escape from the dance bar in Siliguri.