KOLKATA: Two days after a 13-year-old domestic help, hailing from Sandeshkhali in North 24-Parganas, was rescued from the Delhi residence of a doctor, Bengal Police rounded up the alleged trafficker from his residence in Malancha.
The accused, 50-year-old Kamal Das, had reportedly sold the girl to a placement agency and passed her off as a 17-year-old to evade child labour laws.
Das had allegedly brought the 13-year-old girl to Delhi and sold her off to the placement agency that employed her at the doctor’s house in January this year. Acting on a tip-off from the west Delhi district police, the state police along with Shakti Vahini, an NGO, conducted a raid in Bengal and were successful in nabbing him. Confirming the arrest on Saturday, Delhi Police said that Das had been held on charges of abduction and trafficking.
On March 28, the 13-year-old domestic help was rescued by Delhi Police from the house of Dr Anil Kumar Gupta, a cardio-thoracic and vascular surgeon on a tip-off from Shakti Vahini. “The NGO was informed about the girl by a well-wisher. Our officials managed to trace the address of her employer and informed Kirti Nagar police,” said Rishikant, an office bearer of the NGO.
“She was placed as a maid through a placement agency operating illegally in the Chirag Delhi area. The girl was made to work from 6am till midnight. She did all the household chores. She used to take care of the employer’s daughters as well. She was never sent out of the house alone because the employer thought she might run away. The girl was not paid a single penny for her service,” said additional CP (west) V Renganathan.
After being rescued, the girl was produced before the Child Welfare Committee. Her statement was also recorded before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Delhi’s Rampura area. A separate FIR was registered at the Sandeshkhali Police station under IPC sections 363 and 366.
Meanwhile, as per the orders of the Child Welfare Committee of Delhi, the Delhi Police also filed a separate FIR against the employer under section 23 of the JJ Act, 14/3 of the Child Labour Act and section 16 of the Bonded Labour Act.
Sources in police and the NGO claimed that Dr Gupta worked at three different hospitals in Delhi, besides running his own clinic. “The alleged mistreatment by the employer is more shocking to many as the husband is a doctor by profession and the wife a teacher,” said Rishi kant, adding that Bengal Police will come to Delhi and take over the custody of the girl from the welfare committee.
Earlier when TOI had called up the surgeon, he had 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. Delhi police said they will also probe the role of the placement agency.
In a separate incident, another woman, from Nimpith in South 24-Parganas, was rescued from a red light area of Delhi by police. The woman, a mother of two, was sold off to the red light area of GB Road in central Delhi.
“Our team along with members of an NGO raided the area and rescued the woman. West Bengal Police have been informed. The victim said that she was married and her husband was a contract labourer. She was working as a domestic help in the Nimpith area where she met a person who lured her with better job prospects in Delhi and sold her as a prostitute,” said a police officer.