Tales of trickery in trafficking closet

HINDUSTAN TIMES

The battered baby’s story is taking new turns and turns everyday. Two days after the south Delhi police traced Munni, the actual mother of the baby, in a Jhunjhunu village in Rajasthan, investigation has revealed that Munni was not the only woman tricked into remarriage. Two days

back, the Jhunjhunu police had questioned three people, including Munni’s second husband Harpal Singh, after which it was learnt that the family had procured another woman from the same human trafficking gang as a bride for Harpal’s nephew.

It was Harpal’s distant relative Amar Singh, who had worked as a channel to procure Munni and the other woman from the gang as brides for Harpal and his nephew. Singh worked as an agent for the gang, sources said.

Questioning of the three people revealed that Singh got in touch with Saroj, who hails from Haryana, and struck a deal with her for R2.7 lakh for two women. Saroj is currently absconding.

“Amar Singh has been absconding since teams of Delhi Police traced Munni in Barunda village, where she was living at Harpal’s house as his wife. On Wednesday, a four-member team of the Delhi Police arrived in Jhunjhunu with Laxmi and Kanta Choudhary. The team will visit Barunda village on Thursday,” said Shiv Lal Joshi, superintendent of police, Jhunjhunu.

Meanwhile sources indicated that this story of abuse might have a silver lining for the battered infant’s mother, Munni. Harpal Singh, who had paid R2.7 lakh to the interstate gang of forced-matchmakers to get married to her, has expressed his wish to remain married to Munni — if ‘society accepts’ the match.

By her own admission, Singh, who is also being treated as a victim in the sordid saga, ‘never ill-treated her’ and even allowed her to talk to Laxmi after finding out that she was not the ‘virgin bride’ promised to him, Munni has said.

Baby critical but stable; infection gone

After 23 days of being in the neurosurgery intensive care unit of AIIMS Trauma Centre, the condition of the two-year-old baby continues to remain critical but stable.

“Her physical condition has neither improved nor deteriorated as it should have with the level of infection present in her body. It seems medicines are partially working on her as the blood culture in the past two days have shown no infection,” said a doctor at the trauma centre. The baby was brought to the trauma centre on January 18, with severe head injuries, broken arms, bite marks over body and cheeks branded with hot iron. Doctors had to perform a life-saving brain surgery immediately after her admission.

Later on, two more life-saving surgeries were performed on her. A tracheostomy was also conducted to by-pass the obstructive airway, and doctors claim she will have to live with it for some time even after her recovery. – HTC

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