The anti-human-trafficking unit of Ghaziabad police has rescued a 19-year-old girl from what appears to be a living nightmare that has lasted for the past five years.
The girl, who is speech-impaired, had moved to Saharanpur with her family from Bengal, in search of work when she was 14. Soon, both her parents, who had found jobs in a factory, died of poor health. Her ordeals began thereafter.
Employed as help in the house of one Furkan, she was raped by him repeatedly, before being sold into the human trafficking circuit, where she was passed around between three other men, who sexually abused her as well. One of them allegedly even "married" the girl, although the only evidence of it is her signature on a piece of paper, witnessed by her other rapists.
After the police intervened on a tip-off, the girl, who is a Class VIII drop out, managed to convey her story by writing it down. The authorities have now booked the accused under the Goonda Act and Gangster Act, while waiting to add relevant sections of the Anti-Human-Trafficking Act and the POSCO Act, as the victim was a minor when she was first abused and traded.
Last month in an unforgettable judgment, a Delhi trial court sentenced a man to five years' imprisonment for raping his niece, who is now 10, for the last two years.
Akhter Ahmed had argued all along that the child was not a 'competent witness' as she had been tutored to make the allegations against him. But the tide suddenly turned when the judge inspected a crayon drawing made by the victim, showing a girl in a desolate house, with her dress removed. By the gloomy colours and the theme of the sketch, the court decided the child had a valid case and proceeded to award the penalty to the accused.
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