Chandigarh, Oct. 15 The Telegraph : A hunt is on for the parents of a 15-year-old Bengal girl who sold her for Rs 30,000 to a Haryana farmer in a case that highlights trafficking from the eastern state.
“We have arrested Ashok (the farmer) from Sonepat’s Seoti village. We are on the lookout for her parents,” a senior police officer said.
The arrest of Ashok, 30, followed a complaint from the girl — possibly the first in Haryana where such incidents are rare — that he had raped her after she was sold to him about three months ago.
According to the police, when the girl told Ashok she wanted to go home, he refused and, instead, demanded his money back. “It was then that she mustered the courage to ask us for help. She is now in the care of a social organisation in Delhi,” the officer said.
A police team will soon be sent to Nathanpur, her village in Bengal, and to Delhi, where the girl has claimed she was brought by her mother before being sold.
Haryana’s skewed sex ratio (861 girls to 1,000 boys) has fuelled trafficking from states like Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. They are brought for marriage but allegations abound that they are pushed into flesh trade.
Although official figures are not available, estimates put the number of “trafficked brides” — brought for marriage — in Haryana at 50,000. Shakti Vahini, a Delhi NGO that has conducted a survey to highlight the problem, puts the number of such brides in the Mewat region, which borders Delhi, alone at 10,000.