Woman in Punjab duped by placement agent from Jharkhand

RANCHI: A case of theft under the guise of providing domestic helps came to light on Monday after a victim of theft from Phagwara, a city in Punjab, called up Khunti SP Anish Gupta reciting her woes.

Navdeep Walia, a resident of Phagwara was duped by placement agent Rekha, a resident of Murhu block in Khunti district of Jharkhand around a month ago. Talking to TOI over phone, Walia said, “I was in desperate need of domestic help when I got the contact number of Rekha from a person I know. She runs a placement agency in Punjabi Bagh area of Delhi. I spoke to her over phone and a few days after that, in the first week of September, she came to my house with two girls.”

Rekha allegedly demanded Rs.20,000 per girl and said that the girls would be taken back after one year. “One girl ran away the next day after arriving at my home. The second girl who acted innocent about the whole issue also ran away a day after that, taking with her my jewelleries,” Walia said.

After trying to contact Rekha for around a month, Walia finally decided to contact someone in Jharkhand and came across contact number of Baidnath Kumar, a social activist working against trafficking in Jharkhand. Kumar provided her with contact numbers of Khunti SP.

“I have spoken to Khunti SP and he has asked me to send all the details I have about this woman. I will also be lodging FIR here at Phagwara against Rekha and the two girls,” Walia said.

Khunti SP Anish Gupta said, “The woman (Rekha) has been identified. We are trying to apprehend her as getting to her may lead to disclosure of more such cases.”

Walia informed that after she was duped she contacted many other people in Phagwara and nearby areas and found that Rekha has allegedly done similar crime at many more households. “We got to know about nine such families who were duped by her. We have direct contact with two of the families,” Walia said.

Baidnath Kumar, who was the first person to be contacted by Walia said, “The lady (Walia) provided me with the contact number of Rekha. I called up on her number but her son Raghu received the call. When I confronted him about the issue he said arrogantly ‘neither Jharkhand police nor Delhi police can touch us, do whatever you can’.”

Meanwhile, Rishi Kant, member of Shakti Vahini NGO in Delhi said, “Such cases of people being duped by domestic helps and placement agents, especially in Delhi and Punjab, has come to limelight recently. People have to be more careful in such cases and should avoid getting in touch with unregistered placement agencies.”

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