Red tape delays release of pregnant teen from Boisar women's shelter

The Sessions court has adjourned her application till June 16, as it didn’t receive papers from the lower court; family has filed a writ petition in the high court

There is no respite in sight for the 19-year-old pregnant Manipuri woman who was picked up from a spa in March and sent to a women’s shelter.

For the second time, the Dindoshi Sessions court adjourned the hearing on her revision application, seeking release from the shelter, and the matter has been held till June 16. Previously, the matter had been postponed till June 6, since the court was on vacation.

Nishi (name changed) is five months pregnant and is currently lodged in a women’s shelter in Boisar.

The court had previously agreed to release her only in the care of her father and that too only in their village, in the presence of state welfare officials. Her father had filed a revision application in the court, asking that she be granted release in Mumbai itself, so that she could live with her husband.

A release order for the same was expected on Monday. However, when the matter came up for hearing, the court said it had not received case papers from the lower court.

The woman’s family has now approached the Bombay High Court and filed a writ petition, which will be heard on June 14.

'System failure'
Suresh Chandrashekhar, Nishi’s advocate said, “It is a complete system failure. The woman is five months pregnant and has been illegally detained in the shelter. No one is bothered about her. At such a stage, if something happens to her or her unborn child, who will be responsible? The case is getting murkier by the day.”

Nishi’s father, who is a farmer from Manipur, is staying with members of his community in Kalina. Speaking to mid-day, the weeping father said, “We are finished. For several months, we have just been running from pillar to post. We are not allowed to meet or talk to our daughter. Every day, we go from Kalina to Boisar, which is very far, but we’re not allowed to meet her. She is five months pregnant and needs lot of medication and care and a proper environment.”

He added, “Back in Manipur, monsoon has already arrived. If I don’t go back for farming, my family will have to suffer the entire year. I am facing problems from everywhere.”

Previously
mid-day had previously reported on the woman’s plight on May 21. She arrived in Mumbai two months ago and was hired by Aura Thai Spa, a massage parlour in Borivli West.

On March 29, the second day of her job, police raided the parlour for alleged flesh trade and rescued many women, including the 19-year-old.

The women were produced in court and first sent to a rehabilitation centre in Kandivli and then to one in Boisar.

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