Krishnagar, July 11: Girls from Bengal fetch easy money these days. This time, a 23-year-old trader from Nadia has been arrested for selling his 19-year-old wife for Rs 42,000.
A resident of Hogolberia, about 190 km from Calcutta, Shajahan Mondal sold the girl to a brothel in Delhi barely eight months after their marriage, held with much fanfare as he claimed to be a well-to-do trader in the capital.
Delhi police stumbled on the fact that Shajahan had sold off his wife while looking for him in connection with a murder case.
Shajahan was arrested from a hideout in Hooghly on Thursday. His sister Sajeda, who helped him strike the deal, was picked up from Kalna in Burdwan yesterday.
Abdur Mondal, the girl’s father, admitted that he was carried away by the tall promises made by Shajahan. Sure of their daughter’s well-being in distant Delhi, the Mondals made no attempt to look into the antecedents of the prospective groom and married her off almost in a hurry.
Months later, Abdur started feeling uncomfortable as she became incommunicado. “As my daughter made no contact, I kept wondering if things had gone wrong but assured myself saying that it might not be easy for her to make long-distance calls,” he said.
About a month ago, when Shajahan returned to Nadia with Sajeda, he told Abdur that his daughter could not accompany him as she was engaged in a job and could not manage leave. The story went off well till a police team from Delhi arrived at Hogolberia a week ago to investigate the murder of an elderly woman in the capital. Residents told the police that Shajahan had left for Hooghly and Sajeda for Kalna.
The Telegraph had carried a series of reports of girls being lured away from the state with the promise of a better life and being sold off to torturous employers or brothel keepers.
The Nadia police said they would soon send a team to Delhi with Sajeda in tow to rescue Shajahan’s wife.
A Delhi police officer said Shajahan would be in their custody as he figured on the FIR lodged in connection with the murder.
“We interrogated the brother-sister duo for several hours yesterday. Shajahan admitted to having sold the girl about six months ago for Rs 42,000 to touts engaged in flesh trade in the capital. Even Sajeda has confessed to having helped her brother in the job. They said they were in dire need of money to pay off debts in Delhi,” said Biswarup Ghosh, the Nadia additional superintendent of police.
The girl’s father broke down when he first heard the whole story. “I don’t know what has happened to my daughter. Please bring her to me,” he pleaded with the police.