The mysterious death of a Jharkhand woman in Noida last week could be a case of human trafficking and exploitation, police said on Wednesday, as investigators opened a new line of probe into the incident.
The 20-year-old woman, Kaleshari alias Babita, died after allegedly falling from the terrace of an eight-storey building in Noida’s sector 49. Noida police have registered a case of accident.
Rough estimates by activists say that at least 30,000 Jharkhand girls are trafficked to different parts of the country, primarily Delhi and suburbs. A majority of these girls are subjected to physical and sexual exploitation, some even forced into prostitution.
The woman, hailing from Latehar district, was working as a maid for the past three years with a family residing in the building, police said.
Police and activists suspect traffickers who brought the woman to Delhi may have paid off her mother to go for a hurried cremation at an electric crematorium.
Police said a post-mortem had cited head injury as the cause of death. The maid was the eldest daughter among four children of the impoverished family.
“I met her at a hotel. She was a bit hesitant in talking about the case,” said Kala Nath, nodal officer of Jharkhand Bhawan in Delhi.
Sanoj Kumar, Latehar deputy superintendent of police who is in Delhi, said over the phone that the deceased's mother did not heed his request for further “medical tests”.
“I told the girl’s mother that I would take the responsibility of taking the body to Latehar, but she refused. On her request we allowed cremation in Noida,” Kumar added.
Activists have raised questions over her employers’ statement wherein they said the woman had fallen from the eighth floor while she was feeding pigeons. The time of death is registered as 12 in the night.
Sampat Mina, Jharkhand police inspector general for organised crime said that an FIR will be lodged “once our officer returns from Noida with his findings."