GUWAHATI, July 29 – A court in Haryana awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment to three persons involved in selling of a girl belonging to Assam for slavery and forced marriage.
The judgement, which was pronounced a few days back, is seen as a breakthrough one because of the fact that the court, besides sealing the fate of the case within a very short period of time, also ordered a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the victim girl, one of the highest ever paid to a trafficked victim.
The District Legal Service Authority of Kaithal district, Haryana has already granted the compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the trafficked survivor belonging to Assam.
The young survivor was trafficked to Haryana by her own aunt named Meena and was sold off as a slave bride in Kaithal. She later was rescued in January, 2014, informed Rishi Kant of NGO Shakti Vahini.
The case was registered in the Rajound Police Station of Kaithal and later the court of Jaibir Singh, Additional Sessions Judge convicted all the three accused – Meena, Suresh and Rajesh – for seven years imprisonment and also slapped fine for the crime that they had committed.
The victim was trafficked to Haryana on the pretext of visiting the house of the daughter of her aunt in Sirsa district of Haryana. However, later she was sold off to one Suresh for Rs 80,000. She was kept in confinement for eight months in Suresh’s house where she was subjected to the worst form of slavery. She would perform household chores during the whole day; and at night, Suresh would torment her sexually. She was also raped by other male persons in the family.
Mansi (name changed) and her father left no stone unturned and assisted the court of Kaithal by being present before it for deposition. She said, “I lost my mother when I was young. I left my studies and came from my village to Guwahati to earn a living to support my family. I can never forget the incident involving me. But, whatever had happened, I am happy that I have been given justice and my perpetrators had been punished.”
Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini told The Assam Tribune that the situation is highly alarming. “Trafficking for forced marriage is the ramification of the skewed sex ratio in Haryana,” he said, adding, the female foeticide in the state, on the one hand, is killing several innocent lives, and on the other hand, it is causing a serious gender imbalance.”
The evil of killing females in womb is giving rise to a chain of several other social evils like trafficking of which the female gender is at the receiving end, he said. “Due to the fall in sex ratio, people here are facing the shortage of brides and for this, they are resorting to trafficking to get their sons married. Recently, several cases of human trafficking have been reported from Haryana,” he added.
“Assam is one of the worst state from where a good number of girls were trafficked for various purposes in the national capital and its adjoining states,” Kant added.