Three Arrested in Rajasthan's Kota for Kidnapping and Attempted Trafficking of Jharkhand Teen
In a dramatic turn of events, Rajasthan's Kota district witnessed the apprehension of three individuals suspected of kidnapping and attempting to sell a 17-year-old girl from Jharkhand. The arrest took place under the vigilance of local law enforcement officials on Sunday, as announced by authorities.
The harrowing ordeal unfolded when the girl and her mother, held captive in a residence within the Kota district, were successfully rescued on Thursday by a joint operation involving activists from the Bachpan Bachao Andolan organization and the police.
The trio of arrested suspects includes 49-year-old Rajendra Mandal, who goes by the alias Raju, hailing from Giridih in Jharkhand, 32-year-old Ravi Kumar from Harla in Jharkhand, and local resident Lalit Maheshwari, aged 39. Their apprehension occurred on Saturday, according to Superintendent of Police (City) Sharad Choudhary.
The courageous rescue mission unfolded at the Premnagar Affordable Society in Kota, where it is alleged that the accused were in the midst of negotiations, aiming to arrange the minor's marriage for a sum of Rs 5 lakh, as revealed by Choudhary.
Reports indicate that the girl, along with her mother, had been brought to Kota on August 24 and were forcibly detained at various locations within the district. During this distressing period, the three individuals implicated in the case reportedly attempted to orchestrate the marriage of the minor in exchange for the aforementioned sum, shared Manish Sharma, Director of Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
Additionally, it was disclosed that the suspects had confiscated the victims' mobile phones during their captivity.
The tide turned when the girl managed to regain access to her mobile phone on Thursday, leading her to seek help by contacting an NGO helpline. Subsequent efforts were launched to locate and liberate the victims.
Following their rescue, the girl was presented before the child welfare committee, which ordered her placement in a juvenile home. Meanwhile, her mother was directed to a women's shelter, according to Sharma.
The three accused individuals now face charges under provisions of the Indian Penal Code and are scheduled to appear in court on Sunday, stated Udhyog Nagar SHO Manoj Singh Sikarwar. The minor victim's statement was recorded on Saturday.
Sharma raised concerns about the escalating trend of organized criminal gangs trafficking minor girls from Jharkhand for purposes of marriage and employment. He emphasized that despite ongoing efforts, such incidents continue to occur and stressed the importance of sustained vigilance and awareness in preventing trafficking and child marriage.