Minor sex worker “sold as bride” by live-in partner

cropped-2011_11largeimg221_nov_2011_055031793.jpgPUBLISHED IN THE HINDU

The story of a 16-year-old girl rescued from a village in Haryana, notorious for its skewed sex ratio, is intertwined with the life of Siddhartha. He was arrested on Sunday in connection with a robbery case.

Hailing from a poor family, the girl entered the flesh trade while barely a teen. As a sex worker, she came in contact with Siddhartha, who, after living with her for over a year, sold her off. The buyer, a Mahendragarh resident, paid Rs.80,000 for his “bride”.

Siddhartha purportedly roped in his brother Rahul, who was also arrested on Sunday, to execute the “sale”.

Two women — Mona from Delhi and Kamlesh from Haryana — were also involved in the deal.

According to the police, the deal was struck with the girl’s consent. Siddhartha convinced her that if she stole money from her “groom” Suresh, it would end their financial woes. The naive girl fell for this.

The plan, however, backfired when Suresh sensed his bride’s intentions and confined her. Siddhartha made a valiant attempt to go to Mahendragarh to rescue her, but he was outdone by Suresh’s family, which had more muscle.

Having exhausted all his options, Siddhartha approached the police to report her “abduction”.

On the first day of this year, Siddhartha walked into the Hauz Khas police station and reported her missing since December 8. The police initially quizzed him about the delay in reporting, but he said the girl had gone to live with Mona, a common acquaintance.

“He told us that it was only after Mona stopped answering his calls that he thought of seeking help,” said a police officer.

Investigations later revealed that Siddhartha himself was involved in the sale, but absconded before the police could question him.

Other vital clues ultimately led the police to Mahendragarh, from where they rescued the girl and arrested both Suresh and Kamlesh.

Following her rescue, the girl purportedly told the police that her parents migrated from Bihar to Dwarka here when she was a child. Frequent quarrels between her parents led them to separate and she went to live with her mother. Devoid of any maternal attention, she quit her studies and left home.

“Her only refuge was prostitution,” the officer said.

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