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Trafficked girl at shelter home longs to unite with kin

Khalpara rescueAMBIKA PANDIT IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

NEW DELHI: Class VIII student Nisha (name changed) has been on an emotional roller coaster ever since she was torn away from her parents last October. She was kidnapped from a market, gang-raped, and forced to embrace the darkness of a red light area in Siliguri, West Bengal. For close to a year, she lived a completely miserable life until she was found recently, thanks to the relentless search by her family.

But both her family and child rights activists involved in her case believe she could have been rescued much earlier if the police were proactive.

On October 19 last year, Nisha left home to go to a market with her neighbours. She was kidnapped by two men on a motorcycle and taken to Taimoor Nagar where she was gang raped and kept in confinement for a week. Then she was sold off to one Mona alias Mamta who further sold her to one Noorjahan in Khalpara, Siliguri.

An FIR was lodged on November 27 and her details were put up on ZIPNET; but her family claims police didn’t do much to find her out, forcing them to petition Delhi high court in May. In its last hearing on July 29, the court ordered police to trace the girl out without delay and report to it on August 23, the next date of hearing.

On August 10, Nisha was rescued and one of the kidnappers named Saifullah arrested. She was brought back to Delhi and kept in a children’s home. Her mother told TOI that “she was shivering in fright and her body bore injury marks. I want her to come home now,” she said.

Bharti Ali, co-director of NGO Haq: Centre for Child Rights said her NGO got in touch with NGO Shakti Vahini, who contacted West Bengal Police and got them to trace her out. “This only shows that Delhi Police didn’t do enough,” Ali said.

Rishikant from Shakti Vahini said, “The case reinforces the need of ensuring that cases of missing children are not treated as routine investigation. They cannot be left to the level of an information officer in a police station.”

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