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Thursday, January 24, 2013
Police reluctance to probe boy's kidnapping bares interstate woman trafficking
|NAGPUR: Police inaction in a 12-year-old boy's kidnapping has bared the flourishing trafficking of poor women and girls to become brides in Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, states with heavily skewed sex ratio.|
The Nagpur police had refused to act on a kidnapping complaint filed by the poor parents of a 12-year-old boy held hostage in Ujjain. They had been running around since Tuesday evening, to 'arrange' a car for the cops to go and rescue the kid. Interestingly, the boy reached the person demanding the ransom through his neighbour, who probably left him there while taking away a young girl earlier sold into marriage at Ujjain for Rs60,000!
Despite so many crimes apparent in the story, the distraught parents of the boy had to approach the local corporator, the media and police commissioner KK Pathak, following which the Kalamna cops were forced to leave for Ujjain by train on Thursday. However, there's no knowing what the boy has undergone in these two days of inaction by local cops.
Kalamna police had refused to act since Tuesday afternoon despite repeated requests by the family to rescue their kidnapped son Munna Ansari. The cops have not even registered an offence of kidnapping yet, and sent away the parents after filing a 'missing complaint'.
The Ansaris, from Durga Nagar near Pardi, sell vegetables from a handcart at Cotton Market. Their son Munna, a student of standard VII, is the third among five siblings. The family had launched a search for Munna in the locality and with relatives after he failed to return home on Saturday.
The poor family did not approach the cops because they never suspected someone would kidnap their son. But they claim they were looking for a neighbour, Nandu Gupta, with whom Munna was last seen by his friends.
The Ansaris were shocked on Tuesday when Munna called up on his elder sister's mobile phone on Tuesday afternoon from an unknown number. He told them that he was being forcibly kept in Gujarat.
In a later phone call, the person holding the boy hostage identified himself as 'Sarpanch' from Ujjain. He offered to let the boy go for a payment of Rs60,000, or in exchange of Nandu Gupta, who had brought them a girl for marriage, but then left behind the boy instead. The sarpanch also offered to settle the matter if the girl was returned to him, and even if some other girl was delivered to him!
Munna's father Mohammed Hussain Ansari and mother Nagina immediately rushed to Kalamna police station to narrate the incident. The police said they would go to Ujjain only if the parents were able to hire a car and pay for their expenses. In fact, it is learnt that the cops scolded the parents later, when they revealed their problem to the media and politicians.
The Ansaris were at first sent back with a copy of a missing complaint. This was despite the Ansaris telling the cops about Gupta's involvement in their son's disappearance, and the demands of the unknown sarpanch from Ujjain. The Ansaris had also given cops the phone numbers from which sarpanch had demanded the ransom.
The suspect from Nagpur, Nandu Gupta, appears to have lured Munna away with some promises. Munna's friends had seen him going with Gupta, who stays at Subhan Nagar.
The Ansaris and local residents now believe Gupta first sold a poor girl from the city to someone in Ujjain as a bride for Rs60,000. It is a common phenomenon for girls from poor families to be sold as brides in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. The skewed sex ratio in these states has caused a huge crisis in finding brides for all men.
Gupta later took Munna to the Ujjain-based family and asked him to wait there while he took the girl out. But Gupta never returned, leaving the boy stranded at the home of a stranger, who now wants his bride back or at least the Rs60,000 he had paid for her.
Sudhakar Jhambole, a neighbour who is helping the Ansaris, said Gupta's involvement was confirmed by the man identifying himself as sarpanch.
"Police wasted time and made us run to and from the police station. We were also told to arrange for a car and cash to go to Ujjain," said Hussain. It is learnt the cops also tried to speak to the sarpanch, but made no move to go to Ujjain to rescue the boy.
The Ansaris saw some action only after Jhambole took them to a local corporator in Pardi, who slammed the police officials and also informed the media about the plight of the poor family.
Senior police inspector Sampat Chavan of Kalamna police station denied that the parents had reported the kidnapping side of the story. "We have dispatched a team with the parents by train. The real facts would be clear once the boy is brought back," he said.
CP Pathak assured to look into the matter. TOI
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