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Gurugram minor torture case: Couple sent to custody, fired from jobs, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren orders probe

While the husband Manish Khattar was sent to two-day police custody, his wife Kamaljeet Kaur was sent to two-day judicial custody for the brutal torture of the girl

On February 8, Chief Minister of Jharkhand Hemant Soren took cognizance of the Gurugram minor torture case and asked the district commissioner of Simdega to take immediate action. Furthermore, he also directed the Cabinet Minister, Department of Women, Child Development and Social Security Joba Manjhi, to initiate action in the matter.

Notably, a 14-year-old girl was rescued from New Colony in Gurugram on February 7 by a joint team of Gurugram Police and Sakhi OSC. The girl was hired as a housemaid by a couple who tortured her for months. She was kept hungry, beaten up and burnt with hot tong repeatedly over a period of 3-4 months.

The couple sent to custody by a court

As per reports, the team of Gurugram Police and Sakhi reached the society at around 1 PM. The couple was out at work at the time. They rescued the girl who had multiple injuries on her body. Speaking to OpIndia, journalist, filmmaker and activist Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj said the girl was rushed to the hospital for a checkup and treatment.

The couple, identified as Manish Khattar and Kamaljeet Kaur, was booked under relevant sections of IPC, Juvenile Justice Act and POCSO Act. While the husband was arrested on the same day, Kamaljeet was let go for the night. OpIndia’s sources informed us that she was handed over to Manish’s brother and instructed to come back the next morning. As per law, women cannot be kept in lockup overnight.

The next day, the couple were presented in court. While the husband was sent to two-day police custody, the wife was sent to two-day judicial custody. Sources further informed us that there was some reluctance in booking Kamaljeet as the couple has a 3.5-year-old girl child at home.

Meanwhile, Kamaljeet’s employer Udit Sagar Pathak, founder of Media Mantra, informed on Twitter that his company terminated her after the matter came to light. Our sources informed us that Manish’s employer Max Life Insurance has also terminated his services from the company. Final confirmation from the company is yet to come.

The Jharkhand government initiated action.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren took cognizance of the matter and ordered a probe. OpIndia reached out to Cabinet Minister Joba Manjhi’s office for updates. Speaking to OpIndia, PS Ved Ratna Mohan said, “The department has sought a report on the matter. The minister herself followed up on the matter and instructed Secretary to initiate a probe. Jharkhand Police have registered FIR.”

He added that an anti-human traffic task force team has reached Gurugram and is investigating the matter. A team of Jharkhand police was also expected to reach in a day or two.

“The girl went to Gurugram with his maternal uncle (Mama). He got her the job via a placement agency in Gurugram for household work. The complaint was filed with Gurugram police based on the information provided by the neighbours. The girl was recovered by the Child Line team and NGO. She was shifted to the hospital for treatment. Her statement was recorded with the magistrate under Section 164. The girl is recovering. He added that there is nothing to worry about, but she is under trauma,” he added.

Furthermore, the girl’s family was traced, and a video call was arranged by the police so that the girl could talk to her family. “It will take another 2-3 days for the family members to reach Gurugram.”

OpIndia also reached out to Nachiketa, Nodal officer, Integrated Resource cum Rehabilitation Centre (IRRC) New Delhi Office, Bal Kalyan Samiti (BKS), Jharkhand, who is monitoring the case in Gurugram. She said, “A team is coming from Jharkhand. It will reach in a day. We will see if the girl is medically fit to travel. We will rehabilitate her in Jharkhand.”

When asked if any action was taken against the placement agency involved in her employment, she said, “The girl came with her maternal uncle. Her aunt works as a house-help, and she joined her in the beginning. Later, via some contacts, she was placed at the house of the accused couple.”

Emphasising the importance of awareness among the parents, she said, “We are seeing a lot of cases of human trafficking from Jharkhand. Our government is working extensively to curb the trends, but there is a lack of awareness in such matters. If the parents know how their children suffer, they will stop sending them to metro cities for work.”

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B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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