Patna: A village in Bihar shed tears of joy when a girl returned home nine years after being sold to a placement agency.
Teenager Raushani Kumari was hugged by the residents of Thagaria village in Gumla district of Jharkhand. Her mother washed her feet with water and then drank it as the villagers watched in silence.
According to reports, her parents had taken a loan of Rs10,000 from a local villager to perform the marriage of their elder daughter. However, as they failed to clear the debt on time, the money lender took Raushani away on the pretext of giving some employment but sold her to a placement agency in Delhi instead. The victim was only 10.
Whenever the parents inquired the money lender gave a vague reply about the whereabouts of their daughter. But they didn’t register a complaint with the police since the accused was influential.
According to the victim, she was forced to do domestic work till late at night and was never allowed to talk to her parents. Eventually she contacted a local social activist from the area whom she knew and narrated her tale, following which she was rescued by the police.
“One day she called up one of my colleagues and narrated her tale of torture at the hands of her landlord. Soon we reported the matter to the state government and appealed to them to release the girl from the clutches of the landlord,” social activist Ankit Rajgharia told the media on Friday.
A local police official Ram Pravesh Paswan said they have arrested the accused identified as Laxmi Kumari and sent her to jail. “The accused confessed to having sold many tribal girls in Delhi and other places,” Paswan said.
According to a report of the Jharkhand Police, a total of 608 cases of human trafficking were registered from 2013 to 2019. Of this, 736 women and 182 men were rescued.
A report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) states that Jharkhand recorded 373 cases of human trafficking in 2018 — the highest in the country.