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Regular-article-logo Friday, 19 April 2024

Jharkhand prime witness against traffickers dead

Questions raised on rescued 15-year-old’s medical care at Deoghar shelter in home state

Our Correspondent Ranchi Published 10.10.18, 06:43 PM
SCPCR chairperson Arti Kujur interacts with RIMS director RK Srivastava in Ranchi on Wednesday

SCPCR chairperson Arti Kujur interacts with RIMS director RK Srivastava in Ranchi on Wednesday Telegraph picture

The 15-year-old Pahariya girl from Godda, who had been trafficked to Delhi three years ago, rescued from Faridabad on January 28 this year and brought back to Jharkhand on September 25, died early on Wednesday at RIMS in Ranchi, a horrific reminder of what trafficked minors undergo.

The girl who had allegedly been raped, stabbed, burnt and beaten up by traffickers and their touts, had been the prime witness against notorious human trafficker couple Prabha and Rohit Muni who lured Jharkhand youngsters through their placement agencies in Delhi. Prabha had been arrested by Delhi police on September 23 in connection with a trafficking case in Simdega.

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Her statement helped Haryana police arrest Surendra of Godda and Mani Mishra of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, touts of the Muni couple, and rescue a dozen other girls from Godda district who had been trafficked.

The exact reason why the girl died at 3.30am on Wednesday — she had been brought to RIMS from the Deoghar child shelter on October 2 with severe vomiting — will be confirmed by the post-mortem report. “We are waiting for the post-mortem report. But she was suffering from diseases such as TB, hepatitis B and she had been under severe and persistent shock,” said RIMS director Dr R.K. Srivastava.

State health secretary Nidhi Khare had said on Tuesday that the girl would be airlifted to a higher medical institution outside Jharkhand for better treatment, but the RIMS medical team deemed her too unstable for any shift.

Haryana State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights, which had taken care of the girl’s treatment after her rescue this January, will fight for her, member Balkrishna Goel told The Telegraph.

“On Thursday, we will write to Union ministry of women and child development and Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das for a high-level probe,” he said.

Goel, who was personally following her case, asked if was possible her health started deteriorating after her return to Jharkhand.

In Jharkhand, the girl was taken from Ranchi to her Raja Bhitha Godda village in Godda. But her drunk father, deaf-mute mother and minor brother were in no position to support her. Also, Godda did not have a child protection home, so she was shifted to Deoghar.

Goel said her health had been very bad when she was rescued in January but she had recovered under their care till September. “Her stab injuries had pus. Her bones were weak and she was diagnosed with TB. She underwent multiple minor surgeries. But she responded to treatment,” he said. “I was told that these days she was not taking medicines regularly,” Goel alleged.

Jharkhand SCPCR chairperson Arti Kujur said they would probe if the girl was regularly given medicines at the Deoghar home. “We rescued but could not save her. Entire Jharkhand SCPCR was working for her rehabilitation. The day we took her to Ranchi I shown her pictures of Prabha and Rohit. She said Prabha had branded her with hot iron and her husband raped her,” said Kujur.

Rishi Kant, a volunteer with Delhi’s NGO Shakti Vahini, who had worked for her rescue and rehab, said he felt as if he lost a family member.

Prabha Muni in police custody in September.

Prabha Muni in police custody in September. Telegraph picture

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