After the domestic help of BJP Mahila Morcha state president Renu Thapar fled the employer's Ludhiana house on Friday, the minor's parents now want the leader charged with torturing the girl (12) physically.
Jai Kant Singh, father of the victim, has accused three people along with Thapar's father and brother of trying to kidnap him on Monday to prevent him from appearing before media along with a group of councillors. "A complaint was lodged at the Bhargo Camp police station on Monday but police have not registered a case, so far," he said.
The family also demanded back the custody of the girl now lodged in Gandhi Vanitha Ashram. The victim's mother, Poonam, said: "Three years ago, Renu Thapar took away the girl on pretext of educating her. Initially, things went normal and we were allowed to meet her. After that, they started putting restrictions on her and thrashing her for little mistakes." The girl's family is from Basti Danishmanda here.
"We are very disturbed after hearing the plight of our girl, who showed courage to flee from Thapar's house and get here somehow," said Poonam, who works as labourer in a factory. A shopkeeper who had spotted the girl after he escape had taken her to councillor Sushil Kumar Rinku. The matter was, later, reported to police, who tranferred the case to Ludhiana the next day, stating that the incident had happened there.
The girl moved to a protection home on the directions of a local court. She had declined to go with her parents. "We met our daughter on Monday and she wanted to go with family. We regret that we failed to understand the situation and told her to keep working there," said Jai Kant Singh.
Councillors flay Jalandhar police
The councillors supporting the girl have accused the Jalandhar police of inaction. "Under political pressure, they transferred the case to Ludhiana, just to harass the complainant and her family, as they have to travel to fight the case," said councillor Sushil Kumar Rinku, to whom the girl was brought first after escape.
"The case should have been registered in Jalandhar, where the victim's parents live," said Rinku, adding: "Even in case of attempt to kidnap the victim's father, the police failed to register a case, on pretext of doing an inquiry." "We'll file a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court for the transfer of the case to Jalandhar, initiation of the criminal proceedings against the BJP leader under child-labour laws, and police protection to the victim's family," said Major Singh, another member of the councillors' group.
"The Jalandhar police failed to provide the victim with security and tried to bury the case," said Harsimranjeet Singh Bunty, another councillor.
Police have promised necessary action against the culprits after thorough investigation. "We are looking into the kidnapping complaint of Jai Kant Singh and have called both parties in the evening later," said Barjinder Singh, station house officer (SHO) of Bhargo Camp.
Thapar denies allegations
Renu Thapar has refuted the charges. "The matter was blown up out of proportion to tarnish my political image," she said: adding: "The family handed over the girl to my parents, who live in Jalandhar, to educate her. She just studied at my house and left three months ago. As long as she was in the house, she never did any household work, as she now claims."
The allegation of kidnapping was also wrong, said the BJP leader. "How can my father, who is 78, even attempt to do it. All allegations are baseless and motivated politically," she added.