The constable had found the distressed 14-year-old at Kalyan station in July; instead of informing seniors, employs her as house maid
A railway Protection Force (RPF) constable, attached with the Kalyan police, was arrested for allegedly keeping a missing child — who she had found at a station — at her residence as an unpaid domestic servant. According to the police, Indu Kelkar, the constable, found the 14-year-old girl at Kalyan station. Instead of informing her seniors, she took her home and employed her as house help.
RPF constable Indu Kelkar (in pic) had not ill-treated the teenaged girl, but employed her as maidservant without paying her for it
Kelkar found the teenager at Kalyan station in July. She was asking commuters on the station for a vague address, when some commuters decided to take her to the RPF booth and handed her over to Kelkar. The girl was found in a healthy condition on Thursday with no signs of ill-treatment. However, Kelkar is at fault for employing a minor.
Childline India, an NGO that operates a help line for distressed children, got a tip-off about Kelkar employing the girl as maid. The NGO then informed the Child Protection Unit (CPU) and with the help of CPU’s Thane Police unit, the victim was rescued from Kelkar’s residence at Matoshree building in Kalyan.
“My team comprising of Nathuram Chavan, Pramod Patil, Surekha Kadam and Chayya Gosavi along with the Child Protection Officer, raided the RPF constables premises at Kalyan and rescued her from the seventh floor of Matoshree towers,” said Kamaluddhin Shaikh, police-sub-inspector of Child Protection Unit, Thane Crime Branch.
Speaking about the incident, Parmeshwar Dasade, District Child Protection Officer, Thane, said, “Instead of informing her seniors about the victim, Kelkar decided to use her services. She would provide the girl with food and ask her to do household chores like cooking and cleaning.”
The victim is from Gulbarga in Karnataka and had left home because her stepmother used to harass her.
“We are trying to look for a missing complaint lodged by her parents. She will be produced before a Child Welfare Committee on Monday and thereafter, an appropriate decision will be taken. Till then she has been lodged at the Bhiwandi Observation Home. We are also trying to contact her family members,” said Shaikh.
The Kolsewadi police have arrested Kelkar and she has been booked under Sections 23 (Cruelty), 26 (Exploitation) and 32 (relating to the victim’s protection) of the Juvenile Justice Act and also under relevant sections of The Child Labour Act, 1986.