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Rights probe into ‘torture’ of 9-yr-old

- Report sought in 21 days

Jorhat, April 30: The Assam Human Rights Commission today ordered a probe into reports of “inhuman torture” on a 9-year-old domestic help by her employer in Jorhat.

A division bench of the commission, comprising chairperson A.H. Saikia and member J.P. Chaliha, today directed the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Jorhat district to conduct separate inquiries into the matter and submit their reports to the panel within 21 days of receipt of the order.

Police had rescued the victim, Barsha Neog, in the presence of an executive magistrate from the residence of Mandira Phukan Choudhury, a widow, and an employee at the office of the joint director of health services in Jorhat.

The rights’ panel also asked the joint director of health services, Jorhat, to inquire into it and submit a report to the commission.

In Jorhat, four women’s organisations have set a deadline of 36 hours for the police to arrest Mandira Phukan Choudhury accused of forcefully keeping the girl at her home as a domestic help and mentally and physically torturing her and Anamitra Gogoi, who frequently used to visit Mandira’s house.

The organisations — Sanmilita Nari Adhikar Suraksha Samity, Nari Mukti Sangram Samity, Purba Bharati Trust and Women in Governance (Assam) — have threatened to take to the streets if the accused were not arrested within the deadline.

On Saturday, the police after being informed by local people and accompanied by an executive magistrate had rescued Barsha from Mandira’s house on Dharmeswar Dutta Path in the Club Road here, who had allegedly locked up the girl inside a room along with the pet dog and had gone out of Jorhat.

Barsha, after being rescued, told the police about the inhuman treatment by her employer and Anamitra.

Barsha, who hails from Phesuwal gaon under Teok police station of the district, was brought to the Choudhurys by her father, Rajen Neog, on the promise that she would be sent to school.

She has since been handed over to her parents.

Sanmilita Nari Adhikar Suraksha Samity Upper Assam organising secretary Chinumoni Bora told reporters here today that the police were not doing enough to trace Mandira and her associate.

Bora said the women’s organisations would launch an agitation if culprits were not arrested.

A police official said a case had already been registered at Jorhat police station against Mandira and Gogoi after Barsha’s father lodged an FIR.

He said the police were looking into the call details of the accused to find out their location and also have sent messages to all police stations in the state.


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