Police let go Rishav Gupta, arrest Sanaulla: Manipuri girls trafficking case – Press release

Press Release

Bangalore, 22 Aug 2013: The Banashankari police have arrested Sanaulla alias Sam Edwin on Tuesday in connection with the trafficking of two Manipuri girls in July which came to light after Praja Rajakiya Vedike (PRV), rescued the girls last month. However, the Police let go Rishav Gupta, the owner of a commercial shop in a City Mall, in whose house one of the girls was detained illegally for about 40 days. The other girl was detained in Rishav’s father-in-law MK Girdhar’s house.

After a lot of pressure from PRV and other human rights and dalit organisations, police have booked him under anti-trafficking sections of IPC, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, SC/ST (Prevention of atrocities) Act. Earlier they were booked only under IPC sections 34, 420 and 342.

Rishav Gupta, MK Girdhar and Mala, the agent who kept the girls for two days before placing them in the two houses, were allowed to go scot free. While Sanaulla was arrested, why Rishav Gupta and his family members, who were questioned by police inside the police station were not arrested.

Sanaulla was accused in crime number: 0312/2013 in the 3rd Addl CMM Court, Nrupatunga Road, Bangalore, (Banashankari PS). Rishav Gupta is the owner of a commercial shop in the Gopalan Innovation Mall, Bannerghatta road. The trafficked girls were illegally detained in his house and the house of his father-in-law MK Girdhar.

Originally only 4 people Nengkhochin (the agent who approached the girls’ parents in Manipur), Sanaulla, Mala, Sarath (Mala’s brother) were added as accused. Later police have added the families of Rishav Gupta and MK Girdhar to the list of accused but Police have not arrested them, in spite of them being in police station yesterday.

Rishav Gupta was connected to commercial establishments called the Kiara Bags and Renaissance International (which deals with antique clocks). The shops are located in Gopalan Innovation Mall, JP Nagar, Opposite Shoppers Stop, Bannerghatta Road and in The Total Mall, Old Airport Road, Bangalore.

“The Manipuri Girls were made to sleep on the floor, verbally abused, made to work for 16-18 hours a day, were not allowed to go out and their mobile phones were taken away for sometime. The mobile phones were returned only after deleting Mala’s and other phone numbers. Many times the girls have to make phone calls secretly from the bathroom as they were prevented from making phone calls,” said Manohar Elavarthi of PRV.

PRV also questions, why the Manipur police did not arrest Nengkhochin, though a complaint was filed against her in Moirang police station more than a month ago? She is the one who approached the girls’ families in Manipur and trafficked them to Bangalore.

The Manipuri girls have identified the houses where they were detained:

  1. One in Banashakari where Rishav Gupta lives with his wife Ruchika Gupta, His parents Vimal Gupta and Aruna Gupta and his two children.

At House No. 61, Mathrukrupa, 3rd Cross, Park Road, Katriguppe, Banashankari 3rd Stage, Bangalore – 85

  1. The other girls was detained at JP Nagar, in the house of MK Girdhar, father-in-law of Rishav Gupta, who lives with his wife Veena Giridhar, and his unmarried daughter Swathi Girdhar.

House no 34, 25th Main, LIC Colony, 1st Phase, JP Nagar, Bangalore

Earlier, Ms. The Them Ngankhothang, 19 years, one of the victims, who was trafficked from Churachandpur, Manipur, has lodged a written complaint. However, it is felt that the police were trying to water down the case by booking the culprits only under a cheating case.

Last month following a request from Kuki Students Association of Bangalore, Praja Rajakiya Vedike managed to rescue two teenage girls from city houses where they were placed as domestic help against their will by an agent who trafficked them from Manipur. Two girls, who were just 19-year-old, were lured by an agent, Nengkhochin, and were promised jobs in a beauty parlour for a salary of Rs.5000 per month along with free food and accommodation.

“After arriving from Guwahati by train along with the agent, we were handed over to another agent, Mala, in Bangalore. Mala, who speaks a bit of Kuki language, stays in the city with her husband and after keeping us for 2 days separated us and placed us as domestic maids, one in Banashankari and the other in JP Nagar on June 1,” the girl said in her complaint to the Banashankari police.

“A lot of migrant labour arrive from the states of Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and other north-eastern states to Karnataka to work as hotel workers, security guards and other forms of labour. There is an urgent need to form regulations for their security and to protect them as they are under the mercy of unscrupulous contractors,” said Manohar.

For details call Manohar Elavarthi at 963 222 3460 or 94839 50202

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