A minor girl from Bangladesh, who fell victim to a sex racket in Bangalore and jailed in Kerala where she was abandoned by the racket, would finally leave for home after seven months of ordeal. The 15-year-old girl is seven-month pregnant.
The district juvenile justice board in Kozhikode on Wednesday ordered that the girl should be immediately send back to Bangladesh. The board has entrusted the district collector to take necessary steps to ensure her safe return. He has a story of callous injustice to tell.
A native of Sathrapur in Bangladesh, the girl went missing from her home early May, this year. She reached in Kolkata, from where she moved to Bangalore in search of some job. On reaching Bangalore, she fell into the trap of sex racket. From Bangalore, she was handed over to a similar racket in Kozhikode district, where she was allegedly subjected to gang rape. A few days later, she was abandoned by the gang, which forced her to board a bus to Bangalore.
En route Bangalore, she got down at Thamarassery to get some food. That was on May 12. On that evening, police took her into custody and arrested for violating relevant sections under passport act as she was a foreigner without proper documents.
Thamarassery police mistakenly marked her age as 20. She was taken to local magistrate court, which remanded her in judicial custody. The minor girl, mistaken as an adult woman, was lodged in the district jail.
With the help of some NGOs, the jail authorities got in touch with some social organizations in Bangladesh and got her birth certificates, which substantiated that she is a minor. Last week, the girl was shifted to the juvenile home. The magistrate court also admitted that the girl was a minor and handed over the case to the juvenile justice board.
According to advocate Swapna Parameshwarath, an activist of Punarjani Trust which has been fighting for the cause of the girl, the mistake committed by the police proved costly for the girl. Although we had brought the issue to the notice of the police and the prosecution, nothing was done to deliver justice to the girl.’’
On Wednesday, the district juvenile justice board decided that the girl should be released from the home and send back to her home without any delay considering that she is pregnant. The board would also inform the magistrate court at Thamarassery, which had earlier remanded the girl in judicial custody.
Board decided that her seven month jail term should be considered as the punishment for staying without valid documents.
District collector C A Latha said the girl would be send back to her home without any delay. Since she is seven-month pregnant, a safe journey would be ensured with the help of social welfare department.