Police rescue minor who was abducted, ‘sold’ for ₹50,000

Accused in custody; victim was catfished, sexually assaulted

A 16-year-old girl who was abducted, sexually assaulted, and ‘sold’ to a person for ₹50,000 — with whom she was also forcibly married, has been rescued from Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind district, the police said on Saturday. The accused has also been arrested.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Monika Bhardwaj said the accused has been identified as Rajeev Garg, a resident of Bhind. Police said that on May 29, the girl had told her parents that she was going to a friend’s house.

Call detail records

When she did not return, the family launched a search operation and subsequently approached the police.

A case was registered at Ranhola police station on charges of kidnapping.

During the probe, call detail records of the victim were scrutinised, and the police focused on a mobile number whose location was found to be in Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah, then Gwalior and finally Bhind in M.P.

“The location of that number was in Delhi on the day the girl went missing. Its movements were followed and the police apprehended Rajeev on July 22 from Bhind,” Ms. Bhardwaj said. On Rajeev’s instance, the victim was rescued from a house in Bhind.

Befriended online

The girl allegedly told the police that Rajeev had befriended her online by pretending to be a girl named Mahi Garg. When the victim realised she was talking to a man, she broke off contact and blocked his number.

“But Rajeev called her from some other number and emotionally exploited her to continue the friendship and unblock his number. He also convinced her to meet him at Madhuban Chowk,” said a senior police officer. On May 29, the girl met Rajeev, who abducted her and took her to Bhind.

Forced into marriage

“The victim was subjected to physical and sexual assault by Rajeev. She also said that the accused sold her to one Ram Mohan, a resident of Bhind, for ₹50,000, and she was forced to marry him,” the officer said.

The police said they are looking for Ram Mohan.

The police said that Rajeev had spent seven months in Gwalior jail in connection with a dowry case. “Ram is a tenant of Garg and is absconding,” they added.

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