//INDIA: West Bengal police refuse to help victim of child trafficking

INDIA: West Bengal police refuse to help victim of child trafficking

 

21 oct 2011

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has once again received information from MASUM, a human rights organisation working in West Bengal, concerning the case of 13-year-old girl, who was trafficked from the Indo-Bangladesh border area by a gang of criminals. It is reported that the police is refusing to take any sensible action to provide protection to the rescued girl or to her family who are now facing threats and intimidation from the criminals. The family tried seeking help from the police, but have been refused any help so far. The rescued girl finds threatened even to attend school at the moment.

CASE NARRATIVE:

The victim in the case is Nandini Halder (name changed), aged about 13 years, having residence at Buruj village, under the jurisdiction of Baduria Police Station, North 24 Parganas district, West Bengal state. The victim girl resides near the Indo-Bangladesh border.

On 9 October 2010 a gang of criminals trafficked the victim out of West Bengal for flesh trade. The family of the victim approached Baduria Police Station to lodge a complaint against the suspects in the case namely Mr Animesh Mondal, Mr Bikash Mondal, Mr Haran Mondal, Ms Jhumpa Mondal from Buruj village who were allegedly involved in trafficking the victim.

The police initially refused to record the complaint against the accused persons. But after several efforts by the victim’s family, the police registered a case, vide First Information Report (FIR) in Baduria Police Station Case no. 275/2010 dated 12 October 2010 under sections 363/366/34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. The case is registered against the aforesaid accused persons. Based on the complaint the police rescued the victim and her statement was recorded before the Magistrate.

Despite this the police have so far arrested only one of the accused persons namely Mr Haran Mondal. The police arrested Haran on 8 November 2010. The rest of the accused persons are still free, residing in their houses. Now they have started visiting the victim and her family and are threatening the victim and the family with dire consequences should they proceed with the complaint they had file with the police. They want the complaint filed by the family against them to be withdrawn immediately.

Finding that the police is not taking any action, the victim’s family informed the matter to the Sub-divisional Police Officer in April, 2011. They also filed a complaint before the Superintendent of Police, North 24 Parganas on 28 July 2011. Despite this no the police took no steps to help the family, or to arrest the suspects or to provide protection to the victim or to her family. The Baduria police even refused to formally record the incidents of threats by the accused persons upon the victim and her family. Instead the police only asked the family to return to the police station should anything wrong further happened. The victim’s family has been living under threat from the criminal gang since then and the victim is afraid to attend school. The family suspects that the local police are influenced or bribed by the criminal gang and that is the reason why the police is refusing to provide any protection to the family or to arrest the suspects.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write to the authorities listed below asking for their urgent intervention in this case. The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children calling for an intervention in this case.