Victim was sold by traffickers in Bengal, reunited with family

The festival of Id brought cheers to the family of 16-year-old Shaiyra (not her real name) who was tracked down to a brothel in West Bengal on Friday, almost 10 months after she was kidnapped by human traffickers from her residence in Hazrat Nizamuddin here on Id-ul-Zuha and sold off to sex traders. The victim, who was subjected to continuous sexual abuse, is being brought to the Capital to be reunited with her family.

It was the third day of Id-ul-Zuha celebrations when Shaiyra vanished from her residence on October 29 last year. “We enquired in the neighbourhood, but there was no trace of her. No one had any information on her whereabouts,” said her brother. The family finally lodged a complaint with the area police station.

When the girl remained missing for almost nine months, the family moved a habeas corpus in the Delhi High Court, which directed the police to take all necessary action to ensure that she was brought before it. The High Court also sought a status report from a senior Delhi Police officer.

While efforts were under way to track down the girl, she made two calls to her family. The calls originated from a mobile phone registered in the name of an Uttar Dinajpur resident in West Bengal.

“However, electronic surveillance by a team from the Hazrat Nizamuddin police station revealed that it was in use at Siliguri in West Bengal. The police team, working in coordination with non-government organisations HAQ and Shakti Vahini, zeroed in on a red-light area named Khalpara in Siliguri. Subsequently, a raid was mounted and the victim was rescued from a brothel. A woman named Noorjahan has also been arrested,” said a Shakti Vahini representative. The victim’s brother was also accompanying the raiding team.

After being rescued, the girl was taken to a local hospital for medical examination. She purportedly disclosed that one Mamta had taken her along with two other girls to West Bengal on the pretext of getting her a job. However, she was later sold off to Noorjahan for Rs.8 lakh. The victim was forced to have sex with over a dozen men everyday and on refusal, would be physically tortured by the brothel owner. “She will be taken to Delhi and produced before the High Court,” said the NGO representative.

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