17-yr-old trafficked girl forced to work as domestic help, rescued
A 17-year-old girl, allegedly trafficked from Ranchi in Jharkhand last June, was rescued by the city police from a residence in Sushant Lok-1, where she was working as a domestic help. She was allegedly sold to the employer for ₹60,000, said police.
The girl’s statement was recorded by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and she was sent to a childcare institution, where she is under isolation, before undergoing a medical examination, including a Covid-19 test.
Activists of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), an NGO, in Panchkula and Delhi had informed the police that the girl had been trafficked from Ranchi and was being forced to work against her will at a residence in the city.
According to an FIR lodged at the Sector 29 police station, after police verification and counselling of the girl, a case under sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping) and 368 (wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 75 and 79 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, were lodged against three persons — two traffickers and employer in New Delhi.
The girl’s employers at the Sushant Lok residence are also liable to be booked under the law.
According to the police, the girl said that the trafficker had taken her to Delhi in 2019, where a relative of his arranged for her to work as a domestic help at a residence in C-Block in Greater Kailash. Her employer then sent her to work at his daughter’s residence in Sushant Lok-1 of Gurugram.
Alleging that her employers at the Gurugram residence would not serve her food and made her work late hours, the girl told the police that she was not allowed to step out of the house and was not paid for her work. “I would be beaten up often. I would cry and often told them that I wanted to return to my village,” the girl said.
According to the police, the girl managed to talk to her mother in Ranchi, by dialling her uncle’s phone, who advised her to contact her aunt in Delhi once the lockdown is lifted.
Meanwhile, the girl’s mother contacted a Ranchi-based NGO, Pratigya, which informed the Delhi-based BBA. Members of the BBA in Panchkula, subsequently, took up the matter with the Gurugram police.
Manish Sharma, BBA spokesperson said, “The police must probe in-depth the role of the two traffickers and arrest them at the earliest. Although the police acted swiftly in this case, there were some lacunae in the case so far as their training is concerned. It appears that they were not aware of child-related laws. The girl must have been treated with sympathy. The next important step should be to ensure that the girl is properly rehabilitated and her wages recovered from her employer,” he said.
Karan Goel, the assistant commissioner of police, DLF, said that they took prompt action on the complaint and rescued the girl within a few hours. “Her statement was recorded and we had informed the child welfare committee members who have shifted her to one of the CCI’s in the city. We have informed her mother and relatives who would reach the city and take a decision on her rehabilitation,” he said.