Telangana Poverty – Sale of poor girls జూన్ 7, 2008Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Appeals, Articles, Karimnagar, Telangana.
Tags: poverty, problems
Brides from Telangana in Bhuj — but most of them are children
D V Maheshwari
Posted online: Friday, June 06, 2008 Express India
Bhuj, June 5: Navagam, a nondescript village in Anjar taluka of eastern Kutch is remotely connected with Mallipalli, a poor village in Karimnagar district of Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. But this Kutch village boasts of all least four brides, all minor teenagers and allegedly sold off by their relatives in Mallipalli to farmers here.
On a tip off from the local media, the Anjar police raided the village on Wednesday and found Sapana, a 14-year-old Class IX student married off to one Karamsi Rakhiya Rabari, a middle-aged villager. The police also discovered that Jyoti, 17, from the same Andhra village has been married off to one Govind Pala of this Anjar village. The girl even has a nine-month old baby girl from the marriage.
Harish Bhatia, a local journalist who accompanied the police party said Sapana told them of three more teenaged girls from her state who have been sold off to villagers here. But only Jyoti, her cousin, could be traced. Bhatia said two other girls were in nearby Junagam, but when the police went to the village, the girls’ middle-aged husbands could not be traced.
Police officials said Sapana’s age was wrongly mentioned as 20 in an affidavit filed before a local notary, and that of her husband as 26. The villagers did not reveal that the husbands of these two teenaged girls were middle-aged. The police have now recovered the affidavit but say language barrier is creating roadblocks in the investigation process. The girls are able to converse only in broken Hindi, they said.
Sources in the police team told this paper that Sapana did not like her parents or her Kutchi husband and wanted to go back to her mother’s sister. “She told us that her maternal uncle sold her off to the elder brother of her husband for Rs 40,000 and that the latter had come all the way to their village at Mallipalli to buy her,” they said.
Dr Shyam Sundar, who originally belongs to Andhra Pradesh and runs the NGO, ‘Group 2001’ for the rehabilitation of the quake-hit people, said he was not surprised at the developments. “The girls belong to the poverty stricken Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. The poor people can do anything for their survival. I will make my own inquiries to bring out the truth,” he said.
Anjar police station inspector M A Chavada, who had rescued the girls, was not available for comments as he was out of station. Deputy Superintendent of Police P L Chodhary also pleaded ignorance of the matter. “I had gone to the nearby Bhachau taluka for investigating theft cases and am not aware of the matter. I will immediately get the details of the case and do the needful,” he said. Station officer of the Anjar police station told this paper that the girls have now been shifted to the Nari Niketan (a shelter for women in distress) at Bhuj till their parents take them back. The officer said there has been no formal complaint registered in the case.
Elsewhere, the Kutch Mahila Kalyan Kendra, where Sapana has been lodged, is not happy with the police. “A constable had come to Kendra last night to hand over Sapana. The letter from the police did not have any official number and they merely asked us to keep her till her parents take her back to their native place,” said Illaben, in-charge of the Kendra.
Kumudini Pancholi, president of the Kendra and former MLA also expressed her displeasure over the manner in which the police handled the case. “’I told the new district police chief last night that the way Sapana was handed over to the Kendra when they were short of staff was not good. Also, this shelter house is for women above 18 years of age, but here the girl is a minor teenager and has to be sent to a juvenile court. There were also no court orders taken by the police. I will meet the Kutch police chief and formally lodge a complaint and ask him to take corrective measures immediately,” she said
source: Express India. 6 June 2008