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CIMA Gallary

Home to pray for transfer of minor

Tamluk, Feb. 24: Authorities of a private home for destitute women in East Midnapore have decided to move Haldia court tomorrow seeking transfer of a 16-year-old girl who they felt was not safe there.

The girl was sent to Juvenile Justice Home in Tamluk in August last year after she accused the man who adopted her of repeatedly raping her and forcing her into prostitution.

The accused man was arrested following the complaint.

Sources said the decision to move the plea in the court was taken by the home authorities after some guards spotted a woman giving the girl something to drink in a bottle on February 11. The guards confiscated the bottle and a complaint was lodged with police, the sources added. The woman, however, escaped.

Alpana Maity, the superintendent of Juvenile Justice Home, said: “This girl tried to hang herself on February 1. So, our security guards were keeping a watch on her. We learnt that the wife of the man who had raped the girl met her several times in the home. She used to create pressure on the girl to withdraw the case against her husband.”

The superintendent added that the bottle given to the girl on February 11 contained a liquid with a pungent smell like pesticide.

“The girl told us that the woman had given her the liquid saying it was holy water. We have kept the bottle and the police can send the liquid for testing.”

Maity said she had sent an official of the home to lodge a complaint with the police. “We have accused the woman of abetting the girl’s suicide bid and then trying to murder her by giving her poison,” Maity said.

“The police did not accept the complaint initially. So, we sent it by registered post,” Maity added.

The officer-in-charge of Tamluk police station, Arun Khan, denied the police had refused to accept the complaint. “We have received a complaint by post. No one from the home had come to lodge a complaint. We have started an investigation,” the OC said.

Maity said the police had advised that the girl be removed to some other home.

“After the advice from the police, we held a meeting and decided to submit a prayer in the court seeking transfer of the girl to another home outside East Midnapore,” said Maity.

According to Maity, the Tamluk home’s two guards were not sufficient for its 48 inmates.

The police today said that in August last year, the girl had said in her complaint that she was raped repeatedly by her guardian and forced to “entertain” people at various hotels and resorts in Haldia.

She had also said her guardian sold her off at a red light area in Calcutta a few months ago, the police added.

The girl managed to escape from Calcutta after almost a month, a police officer said.

“She was tortured again on returning home to Haldia. She ran away and was given shelter by a social worker who found her alone on the road. But on August 9 last year, her guardian threatened the social worker with dire consequences if she did not let the girl return to him. The girl ran away again from her guardian’s home and was found unconscious on a Haldia street on August 10. She was admitted to Haldia subdivisional hospital. Subsequently, the girl lodged a complaint and was sent to the home,” a police officer said.