The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has alleged the involvement of some Odisha Police personnel in the kidnap and trafficking of a 16-year-old girl, who was recently rescued from Rajasthan, and demanded action against erring officials and traffickers.
On February 5, the DCW, along with Rajasthan Police, rescued the girl from Jhunjhunu, who was allegedly kidnapped and trafficked from Rourkela in Odisha in 2017.
In a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal claimed that the girl's father, who is a retired railway officer, has alleged that soon after her disappearance, he had approached the Odisha Police, whose personnel had traced the girl and brought her back to Odisha from Rajasthan.
"The concerned Child Welfare Committee directed the police to hand over the girl to the father. However, he has alleged that instead of handing over his daughter, the police officials in connivance with the traffickers facilitated the return of the girl to Rajasthan."
"Thereafter, over the last one year, he approached several authorities in Odisha..., but to no avail," Ms Maliwal said in the letter.
She said the girl was subjected to rape and abuse for over a year and somehow managed to contact her father, recently. They then informed the DCW and she was rescued. Currently, she has been housed in a shelter home in Delhi.
The DCW chairperson said that the alleged "connivance of Odisha Police in the trafficking of the girl is extremely serious".
"While the Delhi Commission for Women was able to rescue the girl within a short span of receiving the information, I fail to understand why the Odisha Police failed to do so for over a year. Due to the alleged negligence and connivance of the police, the girl and her father have undergone immeasurable suffering and the girl is deeply traumatised."
"At an age when she was supposed to be studying in school, she has been now been impregnated and brutally abused for over a year," she said.
Ms Maliwal has sought Mr Patnaik's intervention in the matter and urged him to ensure that the alleged traffickers as well as the police officials concerned are immediately arrested. She also asked the chief minister to provide for the rehabilitation, protection and welfare of the girl.
According to a DCW official, the girl was kidnapped, sold and forced into a marriage with a 40-year-old man, who has been raping her over the past one year.