The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Minors keep cops busy

Malda, June 24: A rescue, a marriage of minors and an arrest kept police busy in the district in the past 24 hours.

While a team from Goa rescued a girl from Harishchandrapur yesterday, a 12-year-old who had fled with a boy four years her senior and spent the night in Calcutta, was married off after she returned to the village today.

In another incident, a Bangladeshi woman without valid documents was arrested from the Atul bus stand here yesterday. The girl had fled with her fiancé from Bangladesh and allegedly got married in Delhi. The couple were on their way back to Bangladesh. The man, however, gave police the miss.

According to the police, Suparna Rapot (name changed), 14, had fled Goa with 20-year-old Abdul Sheikh, a resident of Khidirpur in the Harishchandrapur police station area.

Sheikh, who used to work in a welding factory in Goa, had fallen in love with his colleague Jamalu Rapot’s daughter. A few days ago, Suparna fled with Sheikh and arrived in Khidirpur.

Rapot, who had lodged a missing person’s diary with the Goan police soon after his daughter’s disappearance, arrived here yesterday with the men in khaki. The girl was rescued, but Sheikh fled the area

Suparna was produced before the court and later handed over to her father.

Villagers of Amriti married off Malati Basak, 12, to Raju Basak, 16, (names changed), after the two of them returned from Calcutta. They had fled home last Monday. Malati’s mother alleged that Raju was planning to flee to Delhi without her daughter.

The pradhan of the village, Sita Mondal, took the couple to the Englishbazar police station. No case was registered. Later, the villagers marriage them off at a Shiva temple.

Inspector-in-charge of the police station Prasad Pradhan said the two families had agreed to the marriage under pressure from the villagers.

In the third episode, Neela Akhtar from Barishal in Bangladesh was arrested for moving around suspiciously at Atul bus stand here.

Neela had eloped with fiancé Zashim Sheikh. They had sneaked into India with the help of a tout on June 8 and had then made for Delhi where they got married in a mosque. They had their honeymoon in Agra.

“They had planned to return to Bangladesh through the border. But her arrest has foiled their plans. We are looking for Zashim,” said Pradhan, the inspector-in-charge of Englishbazar police station.

Neela said she used to work in a garment factory for Rs 2,000 a month. She had met Zashim there who earned Rs 600 monthly.

The Bangladeshi said she stayed with her mother. “My father died three years ago and my mother does not know that I have fled with Zashim and have landed up in a lock-up in India,” a sobbing Neela said.

The chief judicial magistrate today remanded the 18-year-old Bangladeshi woman in 14-day judicial custody.

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