People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) brought to public notice a heartrending case of a minor girl from Varanasi, a place from where Indian prime minister Narendra Modi won Lok Sabha seat in 2014 election. The 12-year old girl was allegedly forcibly kept for many months as a traficked bonded labor without food and water, and with physical and mental torture. It pushed her on the verge of death, PVCHR noted.
PVCHR’s Urgent Appeal:
Details of Case:
PVCHR wishes to draw you kind attention to the sensitive case of Momina, a minor girl, age 12 years daughter of Mohammad Yusuf residing near government water tank in Kotwan police post area within the Lohta Police station, district Varanasi. Ms. Momina has been forcibly confined to work as a bonded labourer in most brutal manner without food and water and physically and mentally tortured for four months.
The victim Momina, aged 12 years, daughter of Mohammad Yusuf, a resident of Kotwan police post area under Lohata Police station was employed by Naushad, son of Hazi Yunus, Ashfaq Nagar, Kamkaksha, police station- Bhelupur, district Varanasi on the pretext of providing better schooling and doing their house hold work nearly four years back. According the statements given by the victim and her parents, Naushad and his wife Mahi Noor are working as teachers in a government schools in Naanpara in Bahraich district who are known as a family with uncivilized and barbaric behaviours.
Before taking her the couple had promised to the 12 year old Momina’s parents (mother Shabina Bano and Father Mohammad Yusuf) that they would provide best education to her and Momina will look after their house and they will also arrange her marriage after she grows old. After Momina reached their house, the minor girl was forced to do house hold work as a bonded labourer by the cruel family. The minor victim was never sent to school to study, she was also deprived of daily food to grow normally. According to the video statement of the victim, she was usually served only one piece of bread (Roti) and drinking water in the night. In return she was made to clean the whole house, wash house hold utensils and look after 3 year old child.
Crossing all the limits of brutality the family used to burn the whole body of the little innocent girl with a burning candle and burning cloths. When the victim used to cry and weep with pain, piece of cloth was forcibly stuffed in her mouth. According to the victim, Naushad had bad intentions for her. When the victim used to go to the toilet, Naushad used to try to enter forcibly by switching off the light. On many occasions he made attempts to sexually abuse her. Whenever the minor victim called her parents on phone, the couple were always present around her with a baton and continued to threaten and intimidate her so that the victim does not dare to reveal about their cruel treatment.
The minor victim was forced to work as a bonded labour and tortured continuously for nearly 4 years generally but 4 months in particular. After undergoing the brutality for 4 long months when the victim’s condition became serious, she was not even provided medical treatment by the couple. With lot of difficulties the parents of the minor girl were informed. Somehow, on getting the information about their daughter, the parents after getting the address from his Ashfaq Nagar residence reached at Naushad’s current house at Naanpara and brought their daughter back who was on the verge of death.
When the minor girl came back home, the incident began to be raised publicly as her condition was found to be serious. Meanwhile some rich local sari merchants with mala fide intentions began trying to cover up the matter by giving Rs. 50,000 to the parents. After the meeting of community leaders on 7th January, 2015, the accused are trying to intimidate the parents of the victim not to pursue the matter. In the said incident the minor girl was tortured physically and mentally. It is therefore most essential to hold an impartial investigation in the case and it would be in the best interest of the protection of values of human rights.
It is noted that girl admitted in Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Government Hospital on 8th January 2015 and she is under treatment until today.PVCHR with help of Dignity: Danish Institute against torture, Ms. Parul Sharma (Sweden) and 200 Swedish donors is supporting nutritional therapy, psychological and a part of medical treatment. Administrative magistrate recorded her statement and case as First information report registered crime no. 8/15 under section 323, 326 and 352 IPC but there is no action under Bonded Labour Abolition act, 1976, Child Labour Prohibition Act and POCSO Act, after intervention of print and electronic media.
Therefore it is an urgent request immediate step to put an end to practice of contemporary form of slavery and take appropriate action as mentioned in the judgement given by honourable Supreme Court Neeraja Chaudhary vs. Government of Madhya Pradesh (http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1012224/) and Bandhuwa Mukti Morcha vs. Government of India (http://indiankanoon.org/doc/572040/). Initiate the case against employers under the Bonded Labour Act, 1976. Government of Uttar Pradesh should be initiate state plan for eradication of bonded labour and trafficking practice from UP.
Section 352 in the Indian Penal Code (IPC):
352. Punishment for assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation.—Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any person otherwise than on grave and sudden provocation given by that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both. Explanation.—Grave and sudden provocation will not mitigate the punishment for an offence under this section. If the provocation is sought or voluntarily provoked by the offender as an excuse for the offence, or if the provocation is given by anything done in obedience to the law, or by a public servant, in the lawful exercise of the powers of such public servant, or if the provocation is given by anything done in the lawful exercise of the right of private defence. Whether the provocation was grave and sudden enough to mitigate the offence is a question of fact.
Section 323 of IPC:
Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 334, voluntarily causes hurt shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
Section 326 in the Indian Penal Code:
Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means—Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 335, voluntarily causes grievous hurt by means of any instrument for shooting, stabbing or cutting, or any instrument which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, or by means of fire or any heated substance, or by means of any poison or any corrosive substance, or by means of any explosive substance, or by means of any substance which it is deleterious to the human body to inhale, to swallow, or to receive into the blood, or by means of any animal, shall be punished with 1[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.