A minor girl from Bihar who was allegedly kidnapped by a neighbour and his accomplices on 26 July, has been rescued and has returned to her native village. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had intervened in the case after this correspondent approached the body.
The girl, a Hindu by religion, is a native of Bhikan Chak village that falls under Bachhwara police station in Bihar’s Begusarai district.
This correspondent was the first to report the case when the girl’s father gave a complaint to the police on 30 July. The complaint said that the abductors - all Muslims - carried pistols and told him that ‘if it were Pakistan, they would have taken the girl from her house itself’.
As per the complaint, the girl and her father were on their way home from a market when the gang, that was travelling in a Bolero car, confronted them.
A first information report (FIR) was registered at Bacchwara police station the same day (number 158/2020). Based on the complaint, three men and a woman - Izmul Khan alias Nazmul alias Aryan, Mohammad Munaffar Anjum Ansari alias Chand, Mohammad Narool Ansari, and Farat – were booked under IPC sections 366(A), 323, 341, 379, 384, 504, 506 and 34.
Here is a chronology of the case since the girl’s alleged kidnapping till her rescue:
The girl’s father Dinesh Kumar Pandit told this correspondent On 19 August that he received a call from the Bacchwara police station around 7 am that the girl has been brought back and he must come to the police station for questioning.
Kumar politely declined to talk further in the matter.
A local activist, Pawan Kumar, who has been helping the family in the matter, said that villagers would now pressure the police to get the girl’s statement to the magistrate and medical examination conducted soon. The girl is currently under police custody and is likely to be sent to a shelter home.
The chairman of the child commission, Priyank Kanoongo, told this correspondent on 19 August that during the summons hearing through video-conferencing, the Begusarai police chief was given a deadline that the girl must be rescued by Saturday (22 August) or the commission would take strict action in the case.
As reported above, the girl was rescued the same day.
As per Pawan Kumar, this puts a question mark on the police’s intent in solving the case earlier. “Aakhir ek hi din ka kaam tha na [after all it was a day‘s work only, no?]” he said.
This correspondent has earlier reported that an investigating officer in the case from Bacchwara police station, Yashonanandan Pandey, termed the case as “elopement” and “prem prasang”. It is pertinent to mention that the law treats anybody below 18 years of age as a minor and her ‘elopement’ is treated as kidnapping by the person he or she has eloped with.
Kanoongo said that the police have been advised to orient lower-level police officers and station house officers (SHOs) on laws related to children.
This is a developing story.
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