NEW DELHI: A senior west Delhi based cardiologist has been accused of employing a minor at home, and the city’s Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has directed the police to register a criminal complaint against him. Police said a group of volunteers and a team from the Kirti Nagar police station rescued the teenage girl from the surgeon’s Kirti Nagar residence on Wednesday noon.
“Preliminary investigations were done today. We will talk to the girl again. However, we have asked for an FIR against the employer under Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act, relevant sections of Indian Penal Code and the Child Labour Act,” CWC chairperson Neera Malik told TOI at the committee’s Nirmal Chhaya campus.
Guddi (name changed), a native of West Bengal, was reported missing in January this year. It was later learnt that she had been abducted and sold off to a placement agency in Delhi. Acting on a tip-off from volunteers of an NGO in West Bengal, police and members of the volunteer group Shakti Vahini raided the surgeon’s home on Wednesday.
“We had received a tip-off from our partners in West Bengal. They provided us with a number and we asked the police to trace it,” said Subir Roy, director programmes and projects at Shakti Vahini. “After the number was traced to an address in Kirti Nagar, we decided to rescue the child.”
Roy said the minor was made to do household chores apart from taking care of the surgeon’s two children. “The girl says her work hours were from 6am to midnight, and she was not paid,” said Roy. “She was given to the family by a placement agency, which bought her from the abductors in January.”
When TOI called up the surgeon, he admitted to employing the girl but claimed he was not aware of her age. “The placement agency which gave us the girl said she was 17 years old. Thus we never really thought of complaining,” said the surgeon. All attempts to contact the agency failed.