Jammu University on Wednesday instituted an enquiry into the alleged “sale” of a 16-year-old tribal girl from Jharkhand by an employment agency to the warden of a girls’ hostel run by it.
The enquiry would also probe the victim’s allegations of torture at the hands of the warden.
Varun Sahni, the univeristy vice chancellor, told mediapersons about the enquiry, saying it was a “very serious matter”.
The victim, Meera Bai, said she was first brought from Jaspur village in Jharkhand to Delhi by an employment agency, about which she had no details.
She said she was “sold” to Amisha Gupta, the warden of JU’s Sarojini Naidu hostel, and was working as a maid in Gupta's quarters in the hostel for the past two years.
Meera told mediapersons on Wednesday that she was also beaten up regularly by Gupta.
“I was sold to madam (Gupta) by an agent for Rs 4,000. I had agreed to leave my parents as they are very poor and I needed employment,” Meera said.
“Madam tortured me... and didn’t even give me food sometimes,” she added.
Gupta, who has been removed from warden’s post, continues as a lecturer in the university’s MBA department.
When HT approached her for her comments three days ago, when the police registered a first information report against her, she said, “The media has no right to interfere into matters pertaining to the hostel.” She refused to comment on Meera’s allegations. While Meera is now being looked after by residents of the hostel, the police have merely charged Gupta with inflicting injuries on Meera and keeping her in illegal confinement for two days.
Senior superintendent of police Manohar Singh said, “Charges of human trafficking have not been proved” against Gupta and that an “even stronger case would be registered if need be".