The Telegraph
Thursday , January 16 , 2014
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Girl’s family accuses neighbours of ‘abuse’

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Bongaigaon, Jan. 15: The family members of a minor girl who have accused their neighbours of harassing them after their abducted daughter was rescued and brought home, have decided to move police higher-ups.

The family’s counsel, Motiur Rahman, told this correspondent that his clients had no alternative but to look beyond the district police as the “taunts and threats” have been continuing since May last year.

“We will submit a prayer to the DIG or the DGP in the next couple of days. I am drafting the letter,” he said.

The family of the accused, who was a domestic help at the girl’s house, however, has a different version, the district police said.

The domestic help, Tapash Mandal, 18, a resident of Chungapota in New Bongaigaon, allegedly “abducted” the minor, Arunima (name changed) on May 8 last year after he was asked to leave the house by the girl’s parents who found out that he had become attracted towards their daughter. The next day, the girl’s parents filed a missing person’s report at New Bongaigaon patrolling post.

On May 15, the girl’s mother received a call from her daughter, who was crying for help, and gave the police the number from which the girl had called.

The police traced the call to Bikaner in Rajasthan, the girl’s mother said.

With the help of neighbours, her parents went to Bikaner and rescued their daughter who was kept locked in a room. At Bikaner, Mandal was working with a private firm as a daily wage earner.

The parents returned home with her from Rajasthan on May 22 and the same evening the police took her for a medical check-up. The next day, chief judicial magistrate of Bongaigaon court heard the statement of the girl whose age was 15 years, 8 months and 18 days on the day of her abduction.

She told the court that the boy had abducted her with the help of a friend.

She said when she was going for tuition about 6.30pm, the friend came to her and told her that the accused wanted to say something to her and took her to the nearest station, Dangtol, 2.5km away. Here she came to know that the boy intended to take her away and she started crying. A security officer asked her why she was crying and the boy bribed him. Then a train came and the boy hauled her on it and took her to Bikaner.

Accordingly, the police registered a case (no. 222/2013) under Section 366 A (abduction of minor girl)/34 IPC at Bongaigaon police station and within a few days, Mandal, then a juvenile, was arrested and sent to an observation home at Bamunigaon, Boko, in Kamrup district.

After around 45 days, he was released on bail.

“After the incident, some neighbours have been throwing stones almost daily at our house. They broke our fence, passed lewd comments when my daughter resumed school and even asked the headmaster to suspend my daughter. They have ostracised us. We have informed the police but no action has been taken against the trouble-makers,” the girl’s mother said.

After a week of their return, a few women of the neighbourhood forcefully took the girl out of her home in the absence of her parents to marry her to Mandal. When her mother went to rescue her, she was allegedly beaten by local residents near Mandal’s house.

Again, a case (no. 523/2013) was registered with Bongaigaon police station under Section 366 A/34 IPC and Mandal was arrested and was sent to Goalpara jail, as by this time he had become an adult.

The girl was sent to State Home for Women, Jalukbari, Guwahati. After three days, the girl was released from the home. Her parents brought her home and she is now going to school.

Mandal’s elder sister said: “My brother was framed. The girl herself came to our house and wanted to live with my brother.” The neighbours endorsed her version.