16-Year-Old Christian Girl Rescued from Slave Trade in India

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

by Marshall Ramsey II, Worthy News Correspondent

NEW DELHI, India (Worthy News)-- A 16-year old Christian girl was rescued on August 9, 2010, after being held captive for two years, Worthy News has learned.

The girl, whose name is being withheld, is a tribal Christian who was sold into slavery along with three other girls (one of which was her 19-year old sister) in 2008. A wave of anti-Christian attacks during that year resulted in approximately 60 girls being captured and sold to neighboring states.

The girl's mother accompanied the rescue team the evening of Aug. 9 in the Rohini area of Delhi, said an anonymous source with the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) Anti-Human Trafficking department. "It was only the joint efforts of the All India Christian Council (AICC), HRLN Anti-Human Trafficking and the area police that made this rescue possible," the source said.

"It is confirmed that she was not raped," said Madhu Chandra, a member of the rescue team and spokesperson for the AICC. "She was physically abused, with teeth bite marks and bruises on her body -- her neck, leg, and right hand."


The girl stated that a well-known woman from their village in Kandhamal district gave her and her sister a false promise of safe and secure work in Delhi as gardeners. Instead, operatives working with the woman took the sisters and the other two girls to Sakhi Maid Bureau, a placement agency in Ratala village in Delhi. It was run by a man only identified as Montu.

She was placed in a home in Rohini, Sector 11, as domestic help starting in January. The girl said she was treated fairly well there, except for being slapped a few times by the lady of the house.

Things went sour as she was beginning to get hit by the family's 10-year old son. The family's 14-year old son tried to rape her, and she tried to flee earlier this month. The girl told the rescue team that she informed the lady of the house about the elder son's misbehavior, but that the woman stated that she could do nothing about it. Montu, the placement agency operator, has went into hiding, according to police.


Sudhir Kumar, House Officer of Prasant Vihar Police station confirmed the rescue team's accusation that he refused to register a complaint in the girl's case. "The victim is from Kandhamal, let her go back to Kandhamal and register her complaint there," Kumar told Compass Direct News. "No rape of the victim took place as per the medical examination, and thus there is no need for registering a case against anyone."

"We will file their complaint if they come back to us now," said Assistant Police Commissioner Sukhvir Singh. He said he had no explanation why the girl's complaint was not registered, but insisted that the rescue team and the girl return.

Dr. John Dayal, secretary general of the AICC, said that large-scale human trafficking in Christian tribal and Dalit women of Kandhamal is one of the worst problems faced in the aftermath of the 2008 violence.

"Police have made arrests in the nearby Andhra Pradesh and other states," he said. "Because of the displacement due to the violence, they lost their future, and it is very easy for strangers to come and lure them. Community and family life has been disrupted; the children do not have the normal security that growing children must have. Trauma, unemployment, and desperate measures have resulted in the loss of childhood, forcing many to grow up before their age."

All India Christian Council is calling on the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Women, and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to investigate, he added.