Vasai court okays abused child's return to Bangladesh
In exceptional instance, additional sessions judge gives NOC as girl had been stuck in a children's home since March 2019 while police have been dragging their feet on filing the charge sheet
In an exceptional order, the additional sessions judge at a Vasai court issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the repatriation of a 17-year-old trafficking survivor to her home country Bangladesh. The survivor has been in a children's home run by an NGO since March 2019.
Repatriation is usually not allowed in such cases until a charge sheet is filed. However, the survivor had been stuck in the shelter home, waiting for the police to file a charge sheet — which is supposed to be filed within 90 days.
She was brought to Manikpur, Vasai by a distant relative in November 2017. Initially, the girl was sent for tuitions. However, later she was forced into sex trade by the relative, who claimed to be her stepbrother.
How she escaped
In January last year, the relative took her to a village in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and forced into sex trade. She managed to escape one day and rushed to the nearest railway station. While she was making enquiries for a train, a cop questioned her and took her to the police station.
Her 'stepbrother' was tracked down and asked for her identity proof, which he did not have. The girl was then sent to a children's home in Coimbatore, then to another one in Chennai, and then brought to the Rescue Foundation, as ordered by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC).
A medical examination also found her to be seven months pregnant. The CWC, Palghar then informed the Virar police and a case was filed against the stepbrother, his wife and other unknown people. The girl delivered a baby which was given up for adoption.
"The survivor has been in the children's home for one-and-a-half years and waiting to return to Bangladesh. The foundation approached the court for an NOC so that she can be repatriated. The foundation has arranged for the concerned sanctions for her travel back home," said Advocate Ashley Cusher, who appeared for Rescue Foundation. The NGO argued that she could appear for hearings via video conferencing.
Cusher added, "This is an excellent order for a survivor who will be reunited with her family soon. The Sessions Court order sets a good precedent. This will motivate many people and NGOs working for human trafficking survivors to approach the court similarly."
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