Good samaritan reunites lost child with parents

ADITYA DEV / TIMES OF INDIA

GURGAON: Five-year-old Suhani lost her way on Thursday morning, while trying to follow her mother to a nearby hospital. Although she was just a few kilometres away from her Mullahera village residence, Suhani did not know what to do and started crying.

It was then that a good samaritan, Avneet Singh Khurana, noticed her and took her in his custody before handing her over to police. Luckily for Suhani, her story had a happy ending as the child was reunited with her parents late in the evening.

Suhani’s mother Babita had landed in Gurgaon from Muzaffarpur, her native town in Bihar, only a month ago. While she had always feared losing her daughter in a “big city” like Gurgaon, she did not know that her greatest nightmare would come true so soon.

Suhani was alone at home when Babita went out to visit the hospital. Her father, Rajesh, a vegetable vendor, had gone to the market early in the morning. When Babita returned to her one-room house on Thursday, she panicked on finding her daughter missing. Along with Rajesh, she went looking in every house in the neighbourhood, but they found no trace of Suhani.

Babita said, “I had recently heard that the body of a young child, whose kidney had been removed, was found in a nallah. So I thought I had lost her forever. I could not hold back my tears and called up all my relatives in Bihar. My husband was furious at me for being so careless. Those seven hours that we spent trying to find our only child seemed endless.”

Avneet, who works as software engineer at United Health Group, was passing through Atul Kataria Chowk at around 12 noon, when he spotted the frightened-looking girl, who was crying bitterly. He offered her food and called up the PCR. Subsequently, cops from the Sector 18 police station took Suhani in their custody. Avneet also informed CHILDLINE. Avneet told TOI, “I understood at once that she was lost. I was shocked to see that no passers by had cared to take notice of her crying. I have a daughter of her age and could imagine the pain her parents must have been going through.”`

Suhani’s parents, unable to locate her anywhere, later went to police station in the evening where they were informed that their daughter was safe with CHILDLINE  Avneet, meanwhile, was keeping a tab on the developments. On Friday, Avneet met Suhani once again and gifted her a few boxes of sweets and chocolates.

Minor girl rescued from bus stand

HINDUSTAN TIMES

A 15-year-old girl was rescued on Friday by activists of an NGO from the Gurgaon bus stand. The girl claimed that she was physically abused by some men in uniforms in the train while she was on her way to Delhi with a woman named Sita, a native of Kolkata, who had lured her into coming to Delhi.  Neha (name changed), a native of Damding Tea estate, Siliguri, West Bengal, was rescued by Childline, an NGO’s Gurgaon team. Neha said that she had left her home three days ago with Sita and had reached Delhi on Friday morning. In her gullibility, when Sita asked her to bring some money, Neha had taken R25,000 from her home.

On the train to Delhi, Neha was apparently given some drinks and tablets and she fell unconscious. It was when she was not in her senses that she was physically abused. “From Delhi, we came to Gurgaon, where Sita left me alone,” Neha said. Rishi Kant, an activist of Shakti Vahini NGO, said: “Sita is a regular at Damding Tea estate. She lured Neha and brought her to Gurgaon. At the bus stand, she took all of Neha’s money and abandoned her. A police official saw Neha roaming around and called Childline.”

Sita is missing. Neha has been sent for a medical examination. The police are investigating the matter and have filed a case under the Juvenile act and sections 366, 363 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Gurgaon announces Rs 20,000 compensation for rescued child worker

TUHIN DUTTA / INDIAN EXPRESS

The Gurgaon district administration has decided to provide a compensation of Rs 20,000 to an eight-year-old boy who was rescued in January after being subjected to torture by his employees. The boy, Anil, was rescued by Shakti Vahini, an organisation working for human rights, which claimed the boy worked at the Gurgaon house as bonded labour and was subjected to continuous physical and mental torture.

The district administration said it would take a final decision on Monday. Deputy Commissioner P C Meena told Newsline, “We have decided to provide monetary compensation of Rs 20,000 to the child. I have passed the order, and the amount will be recovered from his employers.”

Shakti Vahini officials, however, maintained that the administration needs to issue a release certificate under the Bonded Labour Act. Incidentally, the release certificate entitles victims to a rehabilitation package amounting to Rs 20,000. “The provision of a compensation amount of Rs 20,000 is there if it is proved that the child was kept as a bonded labourer,” said Rishi, a Shakti Vahini member.

The child, who was rescued with help from DLF Phase-I police, had scars all over his body and a fresh wound on his face. During counselling, he said he underwent continuous physical and mental torture and was forced to do all household work every day. He also said that he was not given proper food and enough warm clothes.

Anil was produced before the Child Welfare Committee, Gurgaon, after a medical examination, and custody was handed over to his mother. The case is being monitored by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. An FIR has been lodged.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Gurgaon-announces-Rs-20-000-compensation-for-rescued-child-worker/781441/

Rescued in Delhi two years ago, girl trafficked back to Gurgaon

TUHIN DUTTA / INDIAN EXPRESS

Working as help for three months, teenager fled on Saturday; rescued, sent to juvenile home

The Gurgaon administration on Monday sent a 14-year-old girl, who was rescued by Childline on Saturday night, to a juvenile home here.

Childline officials claimed the authorities had not adopted the correct procedure to send the girl to the juvenile home. “There should have been a bench of five magistrates and four members who should have heard the case. The case was, however, heard only by the district child welfare officer,” said officials of Childline.

Childline officials said the girl, a resident of Alipurduar in West Bengal, had been rescued earlier from Lajpat Nagar in Delhi in 2009. The girl’s parents had reportedly left her three-four years ago, following which she was taken in by her uncle. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) had, however, sent her to CWC in Ranchi for rehabilitation. Later, she was sent back to West Bengal to be reunited with her family.

But she was sold again, allegedly by her own uncle in connivance with another person, and was brought to Gurgaon. During counselling, the girl said she was enrolled with a placement agency in the city, along with 15-20 other girls from West Bengal and Jharkhand. She said they were harassed regularly and not given enough food, officials said. Around three months ago, she was hired as a domestic help at a house in Sector 18, Gurgaon. Unhappy with the work, she fled on Saturday.

A rickshaw-puller had found her wandering in the vicinity of Sukhrali Market and contacted Childline. The child helpline also questioned the rules followed by the district administration and police. “There should have been an update of the FIR, and a case should also have been registered under the Juvenile Justice Act, which was not done,” the official added.

Since the girl was ill-treated at work, action should have been initiated against her employers, officials said. The authorities should have also demanded a proper investigation report from authorities in Alipurduar from where she was sold, officials added.

The district authorities, however, maintained that there was a provision that even one member of a CWC can hear a case and take a decision. “If any one member is present, the case can be handled by him,” Sajjan Singh, District Child Welfare Officer told Newsline.

Since the girl has not been able to tell the authorities exactly where in Gurgaon she was employed as a domestic help, further action against her employees could not be taken. “The FIR can be updated and the Juvenile Justice Act invoked only when more information is available, which we will try to gather from the girl,” said Singh.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/rescued-in-delhi-two-years-ago-girl-trafficked-back-to-gurgaon/781437/0

Girl trafficked twice over, rescued again

SUNIL THALIYAL / HINDUSTAN TIMES

A 14-year-old girl was rescued from the city where she was working as a domestic help after being trafficked from West Bengal. She was earlier sent to a juvenile centre after being rescued from Delhi, police said on Sunday. Deepti (name changed) was rescued from Sector 17 near Sukrali market on Saturday when she made a call to an NGO, which saved her from Delhi in 2009, the police said, adding that a case has been registered.

Deepti was sent to Ranchi two years back and later sent to a juvenile centre in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, from where she was shifted to her native village near Naxal Badi, said Sanjay Mishra, an activist of the Action Against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children in India (ATSEC).

“She made a call from the auto rickshaw driver’s mobile. She remembered our number when she was in Ranchi juvenile centre. I immediately informed the Shakti Vahini group in Gurgaon and they saved her,” Mishra said adding that the girl has suffered because of poor functioning of the Child welfare Committee of Delhi, Ranchi, and West Bengal.

“Deepti revealed that she was lured on the pretext of job by one Sonu from West Bengal. He brought the girl to Delhi and kept her in a placement agency. According to the girl there were 40 more girls were in the placement agency. Sonu and some another people in the placement agency used to torture the girls”, said Rishi Kant, an activist of Shakti Vahini.

During counselling the girl said that she used to live with her uncle and aunt after being abandoned by her parents three years ago.

In 2009, she was rescued from Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar area and was sent to Jharkahnd instead of her home town. From there she was again brought to Gurgaon via Delhi, Rishi Kant said, adding that she has been working as domestic help in a house at Sector 18, Gurgaon for the past two months.

The police said she was normal and has been temporarily shifted to the Childline centre.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Girl-trafficked-twice-over-rescued-again/Article1-689306.aspx

14-year-old domestic help rescued from city

ADITYA DEV / TIMES OF INDIA

GURGAON: In yet another case of child trafficking, a 14-year-old-girl, a native of West Bengal, was rescued on Saturday night at 10 pm from IFFCO Chowk, near Sukrali market. According to her rescuer, Childline, the girl had wandered off from a home in Sector 18 where she worked as a domestic help. She has been working there for the past three months and she left her employers house as she was not happy there. When she was crying and loitering around the IFFCO Chowkarea, a rickshaw puller got suspicious.

On enquiry, he found the contact number of a protection home in Ranchi. Subsequently, the child was rescued by Childline.Investigations revealed that the same girl was rescued from Delhi two years back and was sent to Jharkhand Protection Home on the direction of Child Welfare Committee, Lajpat Nagar, said a Childline official.

Later, the minor girl who is an orphan, went to stay with her uncle and aunt in Alipur Dwar in West Bengal, near the Indo-Bangladesh border, the official added. Lakshmi (name changed) was taken to the Sector 18 police station where an FIR was registered under Sections 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc) of Indian Penal Code. The child was sent for the medical examination wherein her health condition was stated to be normal.

Lakshmi will be produced before Gurgaon Child welfare Committee on Monday before any other action is taken in in the matter. Rishi Kant, spokesperson of NGO Shakti Vahini which runs Childline in Gurgaon, said, During counselling it was revealed that one Sonu from West Bengal lured Lakshmi to come to Delhi on the pretext of a lucrative job offer. According to Lakshmi, there were 15-20 more girls along with her and all of them were given to a placement agency. Sonu and another person used to torture and harass the girls who were not even provided with proper food.

All the girls there are either from West Bengal or Jharkhand, added Kant. Kant said that Lakshmi has been provided with temporary shelter at the Childline centre. She will be provided shelter as per the direction of the committee. The role of her uncle and aunt is also under the scanner.

Gurgaon cop suspended for torturing 13-yr-old boy

ADITYA DEV / TIMES OF INDIA

GURGAON: National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has acted swiftly in the case related to torture of a 13-year-old boy in custody at Sector-5 police station. The commission on Tuesday recorded the statement of DCP (west) Maheshwar Dayal, who appeared for the second hearing in the case.

Meanwhile, sources told TOI that head constable Jitender Kumar, the investigating officer in this case, has been suspended. Along with him, a constable who also tortured the child has been sent back to Indian Reserve Battalion, the parent body from where he was deputed to the Gurgaon police. Sources close to the developments said that the NCPCR members took serious note of complaints that the victims parents were being forced to take back the case. They also informed the DCP about their displeasure during the hearing on Tuesday.

The jury members stated that they were informed by reliable sources that the parents of the child were being intimidated by some police officers, including the investigating officer in the case. The jury members asked the DCP to ensure that no police officers from his jurisdiction were involved, directly or indirectly, in intimidating or threatening the victim or his family.

A letter to this effect was also written to the DCP and copies were sent to the chief secretary and the state police headquarter among others, the source said. The commission has also told Gurgaon police that it is their duty to ensure the safety and security of the child as well as his family members. When asked, a jury member told TOI that one more hearing will be held in the case and then fresh directives would be issued to the state government regarding the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act. SC lawyer Ravi Kant, who is also associated with Childline in Gurgaon, said the state has a very poor record as far as child rights are concerned.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/Gurgaon-cop-suspended-for-torturing-13-yr-old-boy/articleshow/8030354.cms

Stop threatening family of police torture victim, Gurgaon DCP told

SUNIT DHAWAN , TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE Gurgaon, April 19

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Mahehwar Dayal has been categorically told to ensure that the family members of Sahil (name changed), a 13-year-old boy of Krishna Colony in Gurgaon, were not threatened by his subordinates. Certain police officials had allegedly thrashed Sahil, injected petrol into his rectum and put chilli-powder in his eyes after he was arrested on a charge of theft.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had sent a team led by Commission member VK Tikoo to Gurgaon for a spot inquiry into the matter after the case came to light. The matter was reported in these columns.

Talking to The Tribune today, Tikoo disclosed that the Gurgaon DCP appeared before a Bench of the Commission and admitted that certain police officials had committed excesses on the child and violated relevant rules and norms. Head constable Jitender Kumar has been placed under suspension, while a constable has been sent to the police lines in connection with the case.

“However, it has come to our notice that certain police officials of Sector 5 police station are still intimidating the family members of the minor police-torture victim to withdraw the complaint,” Tikoo asserted and added that the intimidation did not stop despite a letter sent to the Gurgaon Police Commissioner in this regard on April 8.

In a Semi-official letter written to DCP Maheshwar Dayal today itself, Tikoo maintains: “As already conveyed to you by the commission during the hearing, a very serious note has been taken of this alleged attempt on the part of some of the Gurgaon police officials to influence the inquiry process initiated as per law…you are hereby requested to ensure that no police officials within the jurisdiction of your command area make an attempt (directly or indirectly) to entice/ intimidate/ threaten (the victim’s family) or try to influence/vitiate the inquiry of this commission as a civil court (under Section 14 of the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005). You are also requested to ensure the safety and security of the child and all his family members .

Copies of the letter had also been sent to the Haryana Chief Secretary, DGP, Principal Secretary and Director, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Haryana, besides the SHO of Sector 5 police station in Gurgaon.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110420/haryana.htm#4

Halt honour killings, rules SC

THE TRIBUNE / New Delhi, April 19

The Supreme Court today directed all the state governments to immediately suspend the District Magistrates/Collectors and SSPs/SPs if they failed to apprehend those responsible for honour killings or prevent such incidents despite having advance knowledge.

Khap panchayats “often decree or encourage honour killings or other atrocities in an institutionalised way on boys and girls of different castes and religion, who wish to get married or have been married, or interfere with the personal lives of people.

“We are of the opinion that this is wholly illegal and has to be ruthlessly stamped out,” a Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra held in a verdict.

Observing that “there is nothing honourable in honour killings or other atrocities,” the Bench said such crimes “committed by brutal, feudal minded persons deserve harsh punishment. Only in this way can we stamp out such acts of barbarism and feudal mentality. Moreover, these acts take the law into their own hands, and amount to kangaroo courts, which are wholly illegal.”

The officials who failed to prevent such incidents or apprehend the culprits should also be chargesheeted and proceeded against departmentally “as in our opinion they will be deemed to be directly or indirectly accountable in this connection,” the apex court ruled.

“Copy of this judgment shall be sent to all Chief Secretaries, Home Secretaries and Directors General of Police in all states and Union Territories with the direction that it should be circulated to all officers up to the level of District Magistrates and SSPs/SPs for strict compliance. Copy will also be sent to the Registrars of all high courts who will circulate it to all Hon’ble Judges of the court,” the Bench said.

The SC issued the directions while dismissing an appeal by those convicted for a similar crime in Tamil Nadu. The appellants “have behaved like uncivilised savages, and hence deserve no mercy,” the Bench noted.

Pointing out that several such instances were being reported, the SC said “the nation is passing through a crucial transitional period in our history, and this court cannot remain silent in matters of great public concern, such as the present one.”

“The caste system is a curse on the nation and the sooner it is destroyed the better. In fact, it is dividing the nation at a time when we have to be united to face the challenges before the nation unitedly. Hence, inter-caste marriages are in fact in the national interest as they will result in destroying the caste system,” the Bench said.

HARYANA , UTTAR PRADESH FAIL TO REPLY

ADITI TANDON / TRIBUNE

On a day when a youth in Haryana’s Bhiwani district beat two women to death in full public view, it turns out that Haryana along with Uttar Pradesh is the only state among nine others that were put on notice last year by the Supreme Court in a matter involving frequent honour killings at the behest of khap panchayats.

On June 26 last year, the apex court, while hearing a civil writ petition, issued notices to nine state governments where khap panchayat verdicts in the so-called cases involving family’s honour, were rampant. The states were directed to submit detailed affidavits stating the steps they had taken or planned to take to tame the community panchayats and punish the perpetrators of honour crimes.

While Rajasthan was the first to file its reply on October 18 last, and Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chandigarh and Delhi followed suit, Haryana and UP governments – which together account for the maximum burden of honour crimes in India – continue to sit pretty and remain unresponsive to the issue, exhibiting their blatant prejudice against the girl child, which was recently reflected powerfully in the provisional Census data.

The petition, filed by Shakti Vahini, which works against khap panchayats, had sought directions to the states to prevent the khap panchayats from unleashing terror on couples marrying on will. It is still pending in the Supreme Court.

But even in one full year, Haryana and UP failed to come up with their affidavits. A study earlier commissioned on the issue by the National Commission for Women concluded that in 84 per cent of honour crimes, the girls’ families had been found to be the perpetrators. Haryana, western UP and Punjab led the honour crime graph, according to the said study done last year.

Trafficking racket in East of Kailash busted, 3 arrested

TIMES OF INDIA

NEW DELHI: A raid by the southeast district police in East of Kailash area under Amar Colony police station has led investigators to a high-profile and well organized human trafficking racket that worked under the garb of a placement agency. “We suspect that the girls would have been pushed into prostitution if we had not intervened on time,” said joint commissioner (southeast) V S Chahal. Four minor girls – three from three different districts of West BengalDarjeeling, Jalpaiguri and West Midnapore–were rescued from the rented apartment for which Rs 50,000 was paid per month. Police have arrested three men – Uttam, the gang leader, Kartik and Raj – and registered a case of kidnapping against them.

The girls were sent to Nirmal Chhaya where they will undergo medical examination. “At the child welfare committee where they were produced, the girls said they were between 15 and17 years of age. While the girl from Jalpaiguri had been brought to Delhi about a year ago, the others were brought to the city six months back. The girls told us that some villagers in their home states had promised them work in the capital, tricking them into coming to the East of Kailash apartment,” said Rishi kant, representing Shakti Vahini, an NGO that played a major role in rescuing the minors. Cops said they were tipped-off by the local market association.

Sources in the southeast district police said they have found “evidence” that the girls were being groomed for the “service industry”. “These girls are poor and we will help the cops in their efforts. The rented apartment has a bar and the girls were being trained how to manage a bar and its cutlery when we raided the place,” said a senior police officer.

Statistics show that every year, nearly 8945 children go missing in India. Delhi tops the list with 6.7% of the total cases reported from the city. The trafficked children are deliberately transported to states from where they cannot go back.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Trafficking-racket-in-East-of-Kailash-busted-3-arrested/articleshow/8001710.cms