Four policemen among suspects in rape, trafficking of minor in Jamshedpur
A 15-year-old girl from Jamshedpur was allegedly raped and abused by several people, including four policemen, and then forced into the sex trade. These alleged crimes took place in Jharsuguda (Odisha) and Raipur (Chhattisgarh). According to sources in the East Singhbhum Child Welfare Committee (CWC), which now has custody of the victim, the girl was able to identify four of her rapists as policemen because of the uniforms and photographs in their houses, where she was taken by her captors. It is not clear yet in which state these policemen allegedly raped her.
Jamshedpur senior superintendent of police (SSP) Anoop Birthare on Thursday ordered a probe into the matter, while an FIR was lodged at the Telco police station here on Wednesday night, as per his order. “We have lodged an FIR as per a complaint filed by the East Singhbhum Child Welfare Committee. We are getting the minor victim’s medical tests done and her statement recorded in a court under section 164 of CrPc. The accused, including her relatives, and some persons in the city, will be arrested soon. She was taken to Jharsuguda and Raipur and was allegedly traded for sex, yet we took the initiative to lodge a case here. We are sending police teams to both the states,” said the SSP.
Sources, however, said that medical tests of the victim and recording of her statement in the court could not be done on Thursday, as Telco police were busy with an accident case in which a child died. City SP Prabhat Kumar and women police officers were counselling the survivor, said the sources.
“The girl was pushed into the sex trade by her elder sister and another woman and her paramour in the city. She was then taken to Jharsuguda and Raipur, where she was pushed into full-fledged prostitution by these people,” said Pushpa Rani Tirkey, CWC chairperson, speaking to HT. “[The victim] told us that she had to serve eight people one after another in a single night. We have lodged a formal complaint with the SSP and an FIR has been lodged in Telco PS. She has now been kept at Mother Teresa Welfare Trust (MTWT) children’s home.”
As per the CWC complaint, Bagbera police had recovered the girl from a hotel in the Jugsalai area on May 7 and handed her over to the East Singhbhum CWC. “But the girl told us that she was handed over to the police by local people. She said that she was brought to the hotel by a woman who was released by Bagbera police. According to her, the woman was to take her to Khargapur for sex trade,” read the CWC complaint, a copy of which is with HT.
The CWC has alleged in its complaint that the girl was being abused as a sex slave and was forced into prostitution by city-based human traffickers and sex trade agents for the past-one-and-half months. “She was also taken to Jharsuguda and Raipur and made to work as a prostitute there. She has alleged that her elder sister is also involved in this sex trade. [The victim] also said she can identify the persons who forced her into the sex trade and two places where she was made to serve clients,” alleged the CWC complaint. The complaint does not specifically mention any cops being among the suspects.
As per available information, police were searching for the survivor’s elder sister and her husband, residents of Jemco under Telco PS; a woman who is a neighbour of her elder sister; and that woman’s Sonari-based paramour, named Ravi. CWC sources said, “Ravi, too, raped her. He, along with his lover, took the girl to Jharsuguda and Raipur for sex trade. The girl identified four policemen forcing sex on her by their uniforms and the photographs in their houses, where she was taken by Ravi and the accused woman.”
The victim’s parents had died long ago and she used to live with her elder sister in Bagbera, while another sister lived in Kolkata. The survivor told CWC and police that her second sister came to Jamshedpur when she was just nine and took her to Kolkata, where the sister allegedly sold the victim to a family in Kolkata. After some time, the child ran away and was caught by Kolkata Police, who handed her over to Kolkata CWC.
“She stayed in a children’s home in Kolkata, from where she was transferred to Ranchi CWC, and then to Jamshedpur CWC. At that time, it was found that her elder sister had shifted to some other place. [The victim] was then kept in the MTWT home, but just before Durga Puja last year, the elder sister came and asked Jamshedpur CWC to hand her over to [her family],” said a CWC source