Girl trafficked to Andhra uses accused’s phone to call kin in Delhi
After a two month long operation, the police have arrested four people, including two women, in connection with the case.
After being allegedly trafficked for sex work to Andhra Pradesh by a neighbour, two Delhi teen girls made it back home after one of them managed to get hold of the accused’s phone and contacted her family in Delhi’s Shahdara in August this year. The girls are aged 13 and 15 years old.
After a two month long operation, the police has arrested four people, including two women, under sections pertaining to human trafficking of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act. The 13-year-old alleged that she was raped by multiple men, including the neighbour, in Anantpur, after which section pertaining to rape was added in the FIR.
The accused are the complainant’s neighbour and her husband, and their Delhi associate Allaudin Hussain, 38, and Rangepalli Prabha, 60, a resident of Andhra Pardesh’s Anantpur. The neighbour has 28 previous cases registered against him for various offences, said Deputy commissioner of police (Shahdara) Rohit Meena.
“On August 22, a 15-year-old girl approached a police station in Shahdara district and alleged that she and her 13-year-old friend were trafficked to Andhra Pradesh’s Anantpur by a neighbour and forced into sex work at a woman’s house,” said an officer.
The 15-year-old complainant alleged that their neighbour persuaded the families of the two minors to go to Anantpur with her husband on the pretext of providing employment. “He took them to Anantpur on August 16, and the next day to accused Prabha's house. The girls were put in different rooms,” said a police officer investigating the case.
It was then that the 15-year-old allegedly overheard the two accused discussing the sale of the girls, said the officer. “The next day, the 15-year-old insisted on speaking to her parents but the main accused didn’t let her. After that, she started shouting and crying loudly which caught the attention of neighbours. This intimidated the accused a bit,” said the officer.
Once the accused (the neighbour) was asleep, the girl managed to get hold of his phone, called her parents, and told them about the conversation she had overheard about their impending sale for sex work. “The girl’s family began pressurising him and his wife to bring the girls back or they will approach the police. Scared of what action will be taken against his wife, he took the two girls to their relatives’ houses in Bengaluru,” the investigating officer said.
Thereafter, the 15-year-old girl was helped by her relative with a train ticket to Delhi on August 20, and the 13-year-old returned a few days later, along with a relative. Once home, the 15-year-old approached the police, and an FIR was filed under sections 370 (trafficking), 366A (procuration of a minor girl), 506 (criminal intimidation), 120B (criminal conspiracy), and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the IPC and other sections of the Pocso Act. After the statement of the 13-year-old girl was recorded, section of rape too were added in the FIR.
“On August 23, the neighbour’s wife, who had persuaded them to go to Andhra Pradesh, was arrested from a neighbour’s house where she was hiding,” DCP Meena said.
On September 20, Prabha -- whose house in Anantpur the girls were taken to -- was arrested by a team of Delhi police. “A police team, along with the 15-year-old complainant, went to Anantpur and with the help of technical surveillance, they reached the area where the girls were taken to. The complainant then identified the house after which a raid was conducted and Prabha was arrested,” said an officer.
Raids were also conducted to nab the neighbour in Delhi, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Chennai. On October 20, he was arrested from Poonamalle in Chennai, along with his associate Hussain, with him whom he had allegedly trafficked the girls.