Police in western India said they
have arrested two people for
trying to sell a 13-year-old girl’s
According to police, one of those
arrested in the sting operation was the girl’s mother. Policemen said a team of six crime branch officials raided an apartment in
Mumbra, on the outskirts of Thane, at about 8 p.m. 25 August and arrested the 32-year-old mother and a 29-year- old auto rickshaw driver. The police was acting on a tip-off from the Indian Rescue Mission, a Mumbai-based nonprofit founded in 2009 to rescue and rehabilitate trafficked children, sometimes through
undercover operations. An IRM worker said that he got into an
auto rickshaw on Aug. 18 and asked the driver about dance bars where he could go and “have fun.” The auto driver told him about two bars in the area.
“I immediately knew that he was
someone who would have more
information for me and I took his
contact number,” the 29-year-old social worker said. The next day, posing as an agent, he telephoned the auto driver demanding a virgin girl for a wealthy client, he
“A couple of days later, the driver
called me to tell me that a 13 or 14 year old girl, he wasn’t sure [of her exact age,] was available for one lakh rupees (100,000 rupees, or $1,550),” he said. The social worker said he went with the
driver on Aug. 23 to an apartment in the six-story building where the young girl, her mother and two other unidentified women were present. The mother initially claimed to be the girl’s aunt, but has since admitted she is her
mother, police said. “I promised [the driver] that I would bring my client along on Sunday and on the day I took a token amount of
10,000 rupees so that the girl wasn’t sold off to anyone else,” the social worker said. “They [police] raided the apartment
and arrested the auto rickshaw driver and the woman who was negotiating the deal,” said the social worker. The young girl was in tears when the raid took place Sunday and seemed completely unaware of the negotiations for her virginity, the social worker said. Police officials said they took the girl to the police station for a statement. “She said that her mother often told her that she had to accompany men and even though she might not feel
comfortable, [her mother said] there was no harm,” said Madan Ballal, the police officer who led the raid. He suggested this was to prepare the girl for her first sexual encounter. The girl has four siblings and her father Is employed in a workshop in Mumbai’s Andheri area, according to police. Mr. Ballal said the girl is in a rehabilitation home located on Thane’s outskirts. The whereabouts of her siblings and father weren’t immediately clear.
Her mother and the auto driver have been arrested on suspicion of immoral trafficking and trafficking of a minor. They also face charges relating to certain sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
The two are being held in custody and have not yet entered a plea. The mother and auto driver couldn’t be reached for comment.
The National Crime Records Bureau says there were 3,554 cases of human trafficking in India in 2012. Figures for child trafficking weren’t indicated. There were 2,563 cases registered
under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, up from 2,435 in 2011. Human Rights Watch said child abuse, despite its magnitude, receives less
attention in India than sexual violence against women. The group also said inadequacies in policing, including poor training, make it harder to address child sex abuse.
“We have experienced police officials receiving the information passed on by us with the promise of working with it. But often no action is taken. It is a major crime and it must be dealt with sensitively,” he said.
Culled from Times In India.
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