The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information from Guria, a local human rights organisation based in Varanasi, India concerning the case of Maya (name changed), a girl who was kidnapped and sold by human traffickers in 2006. After rescuing the girl, Guria and the AHRC had issued an Urgent Appeal – AHRC-UAC-212-2008. Guria has informed the AHRC that Maya was once again abducted by the criminal gang that had detained, raped and sold her in the past, to force her sign documents to be filed in the courts so that the criminal case against the criminal syndicate is dropped. However, Maya was once again rescued by Guria and has appeared in the court and deposed what had happened. However the local police, despite of having specific complaints made against the suspects have not registered a case against the second incident of threat and abduction. It is suspected that the police, as it was the case in similar other previous occasions concerning child and human trafficking in Varanasi, after having accepted bribes is colluding with the criminal syndicate.
The AHRC had reported Maya’s case on 19 September 2008. At the time Guria had rescued Maya from her kidnappers who had detained her for about two years, raped repeatedly and sold her. Maya’s kidnappers had also made a pornographic movie while she was in their custody. The details of this case are available at AHRC-UAC-212-2008.
After this Maya with Guria’s help was fighting her case against the criminal syndicate that operates a large child and women trafficking network in Uttar Pradesh, of which Varanasi is one of the important hubs. Maya and her mother with help from Guria have been objecting in court the bail applications filed by the suspects, which the court has been complying with. It is believed that the second incident, which is the subject matter of this update, happened due to this. The details as provided by Guria are provided below.
Maya, daughter of late Achheylal, Mau district is the victim of case crime no. 769/06 registered at Kotwali Police Station. Mr. Ajay, Mr. Prakash and Ms. Nisha of Munshipura Mohalla under the jurisdiction of Kotwali Police Station kidnapped Maya 3 September 2006. The accused took her in a room and gang raped her. They also made a film of this incident using their mobile telephone. Thereafter they took Maya to Varanasi and sold her to a notorious human trafficker in the city, Ms. Afzal for Rs. 30,000. The incident happened when Maya was just 10 years old.
Afzal detained Maya in a brothel where many people raped her for two to three days. Afzal mentally and physically tortured Maya to force her into prostitution. Maya was finally forced into prostitution and Afzal and Mr. Jani alias Omprakash kept Maya’s earnings. One day on 17 June 2008 Maya escaped from custody with the help of a customer and reached home. She stated the whole incident to her mother. Maya’s mother along with the Maya approached the local police and sought help for medical examination and requested the police to record Maya’s statement. But the police refused against which Guria sought AHRC’s assistance upon which AHRC-UAC-212-2008 was issued. When the appeal was issued, the police was forced to act. Maya’s statement was recorded and she underwent a medical examination. The police also registered a case against one Mr. Sunny, Mr. Prakash and Mr. Ajay under the provisions of the penal code as well as the immoral trafficking prevention act. However the police did not arrest the main suspect in the case, Ms. Afzal Begum. Afzal Begum is also the main suspect in yet another case of child and women rescue by Guria, where Guria rescued 29 girls from brothels.
Due to objections from Maya, the bail applications filed by Sunny, the Mau Sessions’ Court rejected Prakash and Ajay. Guria helped Maya fight her case. On 25 November 2011 the police arrested Afzal Begum. The Mau court rejected her bail application since Guria on behalf of Maya opposed that.
Afzal then filed an application for bail at the Allahabad High Court. Guria helped Maya and her mother Basanti Devi to oppose that application as well. Hence all the suspects in the case are in pre-trial detention. Due to this the parents of some of the suspects as well as some of their friends were regularly threatening Maya and her mother. On 23 January 2012 at about 7 am when Maya had gone out of her house Jani alias Omprakash, the parents of the other co-accused and some of their companions caught hold of Maya. They threatened her that if she did not withdraw her statement to the court and to the police and withdraw the case, and stopped opposing the bail filed by Afzal Begum at the High Court, they would shoot Maya and her mother. They also forced Maya sign be shot down. They also made her sign some empty papers affixed with stamps and some blank papers. In the past also Afzal had did the same to Maya after threatening and torturing her, while Maya was in Afzal’s custody against which Maya had filed a complaint on 12 July 2011 to the police.
On 31 January 2012 when the victim and her mother were sitting in front of their house, Jani accompanied by his gang came near the house and started staring at Maya. Before Maya could raise any alarm, they went away. Later in the evening when Maya was going to the shop where her brother was selling eggs, Jani and other members of the Jani’s gang and the parents of other co-accused kidnapped Maya. Finding Maya missing, her mother approached the Kotwali Police Station at about 9 pm to register a complaint. The police informed her that they could not do anything since the Station House Officer was not present at the station. The presence of any particular officer is not required for the police to receive a complaint. The police asked Maya’s mother to return to the station the next day.
Accordingly Maya’s mother went to the police station at about 10 am. Basanti, Maya’s mother waited at the police station for the whole day but the police refused to register any complaint. Finding that the local police is of any use, Basanti sent her complaint to the Superintendent of Police – Mau district, Deputy Inspector General (Police) – Azamgarh Range and to the Director General of Police – Lucknow on 1 February 2012 through the Speed Post.
Despite this the police did not take any action. On 3 February 2012 Maya’s kidnappers produced Maya at the local court. At the court they threatened her and filed an affidavit signed by Maya that alleged that she did not know the suspects in the complaints that she had made earlier and that Mr. Ajeet Singh of Guria has paid money to Maya’s mother for registering cases against the suspects and that Ajeet collects money from girls who are involved in prostitution.
Coming to know that Maya has been produced in the court, Guria’s staff members along with Maya’s mother had come to the court. When Maya’s case was adjourned in the court, Maya came out of the court hall and screamed and ran towards her mother and the staff members of Guria, asking them to rescue her from the clutches of her kidnappers. Seeing this the kidnappers ran away from the court compound. When enquired Maya informed that on 31 January 2012, when she was going to the egg shop of her brother, Jani who was accompanied by the parents of Sunny, Ajay and Prakash and a few more people had stopped her on the road. Maya informed that she was injected with something and she fell unconscious while she was been forced into a three-wheeler.
She gained consciousness later and realised that she is at Saidpur, a place under the jurisdiction of Mohammadabad Police Station in Mau district and is in a house. There Jani and a person named Chandan raped her and forced her sign blank papers.
After rescuing herself from the kidnappers Maya sent a registered complaint to the Station Officer, Kotwali Police Station; the Superintendent of Police, Mau district; the Deputy Inspector General (Police), Azamgarh Range; and the Director General of Police, Lucknow requesting to register a complaint against the accused responsible for her abduction and rape.
On 4 February 2012 Maya and her mother along with a staff member from Guria named Umashankar had appeared before the Sessions’ Court Mau and has filed a statement in the form of an affidavit in the court explaining the incidents. Despite all these the police have not registered any case so far and no action has been taken against the criminal gang till today.
Source : www.humanrights.asia