9-year old girl brutalised by employers; police yet to act

OST Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 24:

tortured minor maid

After enduring brutal physical torture for over two months by her employer in the city, a minor girl has now landed at the Ruchika child helpline.

Shockingly, Airfield police station, instead of acting against her employer, is trying to work out a compromise to save him.

As per information made available by child line sources, a family residing in Pokhariput area had recently employed the 9-year-old class-III girl from Basta area of Baleswar district with the consent of her parents to work in their house as a maid. The family had also assured the parents of the girl that the girl would be paid a monthly salary and can continue her study.

However, contrary to their promise, the family members, after bringing the girl to Bhubaneswar, forced her to do all household works from morning to late in the night.

The family members, including the lady of the house, used to kick her and beat her up with rolling pin for the slightest mistake she committed in her work.

The incident came to light on Wednesday when the girl ran out of the house after she was severely beaten up by the lady for waking up late in the morning. Seeing the plight of the girl, some locals handed over the girl to the Lingaraj police.

Instead of taking any action, the police tried to work out a compromise between the house owner and the girl’s family. But as no compromise could be struck till late evening, the police later handed over the girl to the Childline as per rules.

The authorities of the Childline found several bruises on the body of the girl and informed the matter to the Khordha Child Welfare Committee (CWC).

Later, at the instance of the Committee, the Childline authorities went to Lingaraj Police station to file a complaint. But the police referred the case to the Airfield Police Station citing that the area where the incident had taken place does not come under their jurisdiction.

“The Airfield police also did not receive the complaint and insead asked the Childline officials about their intention in this case as well as the credibility of the CWC”, said Benudhar Senapati, member of the Childline to OST.

He said after the Childline officials informed the matter to the CWC, the latter on Thursday brought the matter to the notice of the State Women and Child Development department, the DCP, ACP and the district Child Protection officials.

Though the tortured girl failed to give details of her owners, she did name her employers as Prasanna Sahu and his wife Gita Sahu.

The CWC has recommended to the state government stern action against the couple under Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act.

A senior Labour official on Thursday recorded the statement of the minor girl.

However, the owners of the house and the family of the minor girl are yet to be contacted, reports said.

Meanwhile, IIC of Airfield Police station Rashmi Ranjan Sahu clarified on Thursday said that the Childline officials had come to the police station in his absence and left without lodging a complaint.

“Police would take appropriate action after receiving the complaint”, he added.


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