A minor girl who ‘eloped’ with a much older man but was rescued by the police in December, has attempted suicide. The girl is a Hindu while the man is a Muslim.
Her family told this correspondent that the girl has broken her backbone.
Her father blamed her extreme step on the man, saying he “brainwashed” her to an extent that she agreed to convert to Islam and marry him despite knowing he has children, and is now trying to kill herself.
The girl’s family lives in Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj district. She went missing on 30 December 2021.
The same day, her father Chandra Prakash gave a complaint to the local Amapur police station, naming one Kallu Hasan alias Raju as her “kidnapper”.
The first information report (FIR) was filed at Amapur police station the same day (number 309/2021).
The complaint said that like every other day, his daughter left for her school – Makkhan Lal Inter College – in the morning, but did not return home on time. When he went to the school, the college gate was locked. He discovered that his daughter did not show up at the school that day. After inquiring around, he learnt that she had gone with a man named Raju. When Chandra Prakash reached his address, he was not available at his house.
Based on this statement, the police booked Hasan under IPC sections 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (inducing women to compel her marriage).
She was rescued and brought to Kasganj the next day. The police found the couple in Vadodara city of Gujarat.
The previous day, the police had detained Hasan’s family members in the police station for questioning. Some Hindu activists in the area had staged an agitation, demanding immediate action.
The day his kin were questioned, Hasan circulated a mobile-shot video of him with the girl, where the girl was seen saying that she had run away with Hasan on her own will. She was wearing a burqa in the video. She said she had known ‘Raju’ for seven years. “Raju loves me the most, even my mother doesn’t love me enough,” she said.
You can watch the video here.
As per the school certificates shared by her family with the police (Swarajya had accessed those documents), the girl’s year of birth is 2006. This makes her only 15 years of age (a minor) at the time of her ‘elopement’.
After she was rescued and Hasan was arrested, the police added IPC section 376 (rape) in the case and additionally booked him under sections 3 and 4 of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offence) Act. This information was shared by Anil Kumar, station house officer (SHO) of Amapur police station, with this correspondent.
The officer said the girl was produced before the magistrate on 4 January 2022, where her statement was recorded as per Section 164 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code). The girl told the court that Hasan had made physical relations with her and hence the charge of rape was added, the officer said.
This correspondent talked to her father five days ago (on 17 February). He said that his daughter jumped off the terrace of the house three weeks ago in a big to kill herself, saying she wanted to marry Raju.
“This man has brainwashed her completely. Do you know he is a married man with a child whereas my daughter is still in class 10?” the father said.
Chandra Prakash said he runs a shop of wall paints. Hasan would visit his shop often as he worked as a wall painter in houses. “I saw him giving chocolates to my daughter once. She is much younger to him. He was already married and had a daughter that time. I saw it as a gesture of affection towards a child. I had no idea he had different intentions,” the father said.
Prakash said that Hasan’s wife died during the second coronavirus wave while giving birth to her second child. The child survived. “Both children are staying at his [Hasan’s] relatives’ house,” he said.
He said that though Hasan had been working in the market for several years, he was known by most traders as simply ‘Raju’ and not his real name.
Chandra Prakash’s younger brother Surya Prakash told this correspondent that his niece is a victim of ‘love jihad’. “Our daughter was targeted by this man. Love Jihad has happened with her. His [Hasan’s] whole family is involved in this,” he said.
Amapur SHO Anil Kumar did not refute or confirm this information about Hasan, saying Hasan is in jail for rape and sexual assault on a child and “rest of the investigation is on”.
Watch a statement by Surya Prakash given to a local media channel here.
Chandra Prakash said his daughter did not have a personal mobile phone, but got access to one for long hours through the “excuse” of online classes. “We did not allow her to keep a phone despite her insistence. But for online classes, she would borrow her mother’s phone and use it for hours. Assuming it’s being used for studies, we did not suspect anything,” he said.
He said that after her rescue, he sent her to a relative’s house in another district of UP. The girl jumped off the terrace of the relative’s house, he said.
Before jumping, she left a note which said that she wanted to live with Raju, the father said.
The girl survived the fall, but broke her backbone. After spending about three weeks in the hospital, she was discharged and sent home last week, he said.
Chandra Prakash said he is struggling to decide what to do next.
“Tell me, should I give my 15-year-old girl to that man who has two children? Should I ignore that he is Muslim and will keep my daughter in burqa? Who known he will bring a third wife too?” the father said.
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