A Fact Finding Report
Uttarpara Destitute Home for female incident is now a well discussed topic for popular printed and electronic media. 11 women aged between 22 and 35 years escaped from the said home without leaving behind any single trace about their present whereabouts. Three among the total eleven women, are Bangladeshi nationals. The rest eights are Indians. Fact finding team of Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) probed into the said matter and found out the following details:
“At the early hour of dawn of 31.12.2012, 11 inmates of Uttarpara Destitute Home for Female escaped. They broke the grille of their dormitory; passed over the home-kitchen’s roof and crossed the backside wall of that home” – as police stated. On this side, the wall is relatively lower.
Home authority at first informed this incident to the police of Uttarpara Police Station via phone. Later on they reported the said incident to Uttarpara Police Station. Police told the home authority that at first investigation must be done by the Social Welfare Department of West Bengal Government. Afterwards they would start the police investigation. Police of Uttarpara Police Station started a case against the missing women vide a police case no. 461/12 dated 31.12.2012 under section 224 Indian Penal Code. But police authority intentionally overlooked the section 223 of Indian Penal Code, where “Escape from confinement negligently suffered by a public servant” was stated as cognizable crime. Section 223 of Indian Penal Code ought to be charged against the Uttarpara Destitute Home for women.
This incident came to the broad daylight via printed and electronic media. On 03.01.2013 our fact finding team went to the Uttarpara Home for investigation on the matter. At the main gate the gate-keeper wanted to know about the fact finder’s identity and the purpose of visit. Our fact finding team furnished the identity proof and mentioned the purpose of visit. But the Home-Super, when informed by the gate-keeper, straightforwardly denied meeting our fact find team. The Home-Super told that for any kind enquiry, our fact finding team must acquire a permit from the Social Welfare Department of West Bengal State Government.
After that our fact finding team went to the Uttarpara Police Station and meet Inspector In-Charge Mr. Priyobroto Bakshi. He gave us detailed information on the matter.
Mr. Priyobroto Bakshi said that polices of V. K. Margh police station of Pune, Maharshtra, apprehended 50 trafficked women under Immoral Traffic Prevention Act. By the order of the Magistrate of Pune, these women were sent to West Bengal for returning them to their homes. At first they were lodged in Liluah Home for destitute women. On 23.11.2012, 18 of them were sent to Uttarpara Destitute Home for Female. Arrangement for sending those women to different Homes in West Bengal was under process. He said that after Uttarpara Destitute Home for Female informed them about that incident at around 4.30 am. The first train on Howrah Main Line had already passed from Uttarpara Railway Station. Police immediately posted police guard at Dakshineswar, Bali Halt. They also alerted the Railway Police Force (RPF) of Sealdah and Howrah Railway division. They also posted police guard on the jetties of Kolkata port area. But they have found not the slightest trace about their present whereabouts. Two days before that well circulated escape incident, police had arrested a trafficker from that area and sent him to the court. By birth the trafficker is from Bihar State. Now police is interrogating the trafficker to extract any important clue on the incident. A female trafficker naming Putul is also now being interrogated for any lead to the whereabouts of the 11 mysteriously missing female inmates of Uttarpara Destitute Home for Female. But still nothing is found. Mr. Priyobroto Bakshi regrets that many police personnel are not much skilled and the work pressure on police stations is also very heavy, so they hardly get enough time and opportunities for giving attention to a comb-searching investigation on serious matters like this.
Our fact find team got a list of the missing women from Mr. Priyobroto Bakshi.
1. Smt. Doli Sardar, daughter of Mr. Nisaruddin Sardar, aged about 27 years, village & Post Office – Gunakar Koti, Police Station – Ashauni, District – Satkshira, Bangladesh.
2. Kiran Molla, daughter of Late Abu Bakhar, aged about 39 years village – Panyopara, Post Office – Bastav Khali, District – Murshidabad.
3. Nagar Muktar Khan alias Lata Najar Khan, daughter of Mr. Muktar Khan, aged about 30 years, village – Patkel Poto, Post Office – Aamdubi, Police Station – Banra, District – North 24 Parganas.
4. Smt. Nilima Biswas, daughter of Mr. Jalan Biswas, aged about – 35 years, village – Dhoakula, Post Office & Police Station – Behar Para, District – Jessore, Bangladesh.
5. Smt. Priyanka Ghosh, daughter of Late Ananta Ghosh, aged about – 28 years, village – Shal Bania, Post Office & Police Station – Chakda, District – Nadia.
6. Smt. Puja Rani Sarkar, daughter of Late Santu Sarkar, aged about – 22 years, village – Jati Nagar, Post Office – Gouranga Nagar, Police Station – New Town, District – North 24 Parganas.
7. Smt. Ratna Biswas, daughter of Mr. Atin Biswas, aged about – 25 years, village – Shitlatala, Post Office – Raman Kati, Police Station – Jessore; Bangladesh.
8. Smt. Rima Rojbul Sheikh, daughter of Mr. Radikudding Sheikh, aged about – 26 years, village – Huja, Post Office – Akaipur, Police Station – Gopalnagar, District – North 24 Parganas.
9. Smt. Sima Sheikh alias Jharna Kokman , daughter of Late Kalu Sheikh, aged about – 28 years, village & Post Office – Aamtala, Police Station – Beldanga, District – Murshidabad.
10. Smt. Shrabanti Majumder, daughter of Mr. Tapas Kumar Majumder, aged about – 24 years, Police Station – Gopal Nagar, District – North 24 Parganas.
11. Smt. Suman Das, daughter of Late Ram Das, aged about – 27 years, village – Shal Baniya, Post Office & Police Station – Chakda, District – Nadia.
The 3 Bangladeshi fugitives were not alleged with any case under 14 Foreigners Act.
Over a week period has passed since the strange escaping of the 11 women. Where are they now? Are they safe or unsafe? What will happen to their lot? Are they trafficked again to any new red-light area? Why police from the initial point of time tried not to suspect the story made by Uttarpara Destitute Home for Female? Who will answer these questions? We are putting forward these questions to the administration on behalf of the countless friends who are upholding human rights all over the world. ….. 21 January 2013