A minor Hindu girl from West Bengal was abducted nearly a month ago by a married man named Sohidul Rahman, much older to her, was rescued from Gujarat this week. The abducted girl has revealed that her captor had forced her to read namaz and Quran during her captivity.
In her report, Swarajya Magazine’s Swati Goel Sharma has written that she has obtained an audio recording of a conversation between the girl and a counsellor from a non-government organisation that helped in the rescue. According to Sharma, the girl is heard saying in the audiotape that the man, Sohidul Rehman who kidnapped her, had coerced her to read namaz and recite ayats from the Quran in Arabic.
Muslim captor forced the 14-year-old Hindu girl to read nikahnama
The 14-year-old Hindu girl, who is a native of Hamirpur village in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal said that though they did not visit a mosque for an official nikah ceremony, the captor Sohidul Rehman brought a man home and, in his presence, read the nikahnama and made her to do the same. Following the ceremony, Rehman told her that he is her husband from now on and repreatedly forced himself on her.
The girl had gone missing on October 6 after which a first information report(FIR) was registered the following day at Jibantala police station under relevant IPC sections pertaining to kidnapping and procuration of a minor girl. When a New Delhi based non-government organisation named Mission Mukti Foundation learned about the abduction, they intervened and took up the case with the senior officials of the Bengal police.
NGO asked NCPCR to intervene in the case
After the girl went missing on 6 October, a first information report (FIR) was registered the next day at Jibantala police station (number 456/2020) under IPC sections 363 (kidnapping) and 366A (procuration of minor girl).
With the police help, the NGO got the tracked down the location of Rehman to Gujarat. However, the details were not sufficient since they did not have the tower location. As the days were passing, so was the fear and possibility that Rehman would have shifted his location to another state. The NGO then sought help from the New Delhi-based National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Commission.
A Girl child has been rescued by #Gujrat_Police tonight, She was #Trafficked from #WestBengal,@NCPCR_ issued directions for the same On the report of mission mukti foundation.— प्रियंक कानूनगो Priyank Kanoongo (@KanoongoPriyank) November 12, 2020
More details are awaited,will keep posting. pic.twitter.com/BVeb8d826e
Girl kidnapped in Bengal was rescued from Gujarat’s Rajkot
On NCPCR’s intervention, the case was taken up by the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit(AHTU) of West Bengal’s Criminal Investigation Department(CID). On November 11, over a month after the minor Hindu girl’s abduction, the AHTU homed in on the current location of Rehman. The team immediately left Bengal to the other side of the country, in Gujarat’s Rajkot district for rescuing the girl.
Rehman, 28, double the age of the minor girl whom he kidnapped, was arrested on the charges of kidnapping. As per Swati’s report, if the girl affirms that she was subjected to sexual assault and the same is confirmed in her medical reports, Rehamn would be additionally booked under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.
According to an official from NCPCR, who did not wish to be named, the girl had reportedly expressed her desire to be returned to her family when her captor Rehman told her that he is already married and has a wife in Bengal. The girl is currently in the custody of the Bengal CID and is likely to return to her parents this week.
As per the child commission officials, Rehman used to talk to the girl’s aunt over the phone. One day, the girl accidentally picked up the phone, instead of her aunt. Rehman talked to her and told her the specific time he would be calling her next. The two started talking to each other frequently and a few weeks ago, Rehman proposed to marry her.