Ten years ago, a 12-year-old girl went missing in northeast Delhi. Her family looked for her for years, but five years and many “futile” visits to police stations later, they finally gave up.
In the next five years, they followed religious rituals for their daughter, who they believed was dead.
Last week, the girl’s mother could barely believe her eyes when she saw her daughter, now 22, at her doorstep. But her joy was short-lived. Her daughter told her she had been kidnapped and raped by several men in the last 10 years.
Now, her mother has only one mission: to ensure that the men who assaulted her daughter are brought to justice. She claimed she has gone to Khajuri Khas police station several times to lodge a complaint, but the police officers did not pay heed to her complaint. “My child went missing on July 2, 2006, from Khajuri area, but the FIR on kidnapping was registered years later, on September 9, 2006… I wrote multiple letters to senior police officers, but there was no response. After my daughter returned, I went to the Khajuri police station several times, but in vain,” said the mother.
A woman police officer finally visited them Tuesday. “They have taken my daughter for medical examination,”she said.
When questioned on the issue, Deputy Commissioner of Police, (northeast), A K Singla said he got to know about the incident Tuesday and he was not aware of the many visits made by the woman’s mother to the police station. “We are reopening the case and have formed a special investigation team from our district… after recording the victim’s statement ,we will add more IPC sections to the case,” he added.
On the day she went missing, the 22-year-old woman said, “A woman and a man abducted me… they took me to Ambala and sold me to a man for Rs 30,000. Later, I was sold to another man for Rs 40,000… he and another man raped me. I tried to escape but they caught me… after that, I was raped by many more men.” She said she was “sold and re-sold” at least eight times, and raped by over 30 men.
“In 2009, I was sold to a 50-year-old truck driver, who forced me to get married to him…,” she said. Her “husband” died two years later. “My life became miserable after that. His family threw me out. I had to struggle for food and shelter. When I went to the police station to complain, his relatives claimed I was mentally ill.”
She said after everything she had gone through, she did not have the courage to come back home. A few years later, she found herself in Siliguri. “I met a woman who convinced me to come back to Delhi.”