In Maharashtra, a 17-year-old girl from a scheduled caste was allegedly abducted last month by a man named Aman Shiekh last month.
The national child commission has taken cognisance of the case and issued multiple notices to the concerned Superintendent of Police (SP), but the minor remains missing.
A first information report (number 545/2022) was registered at Shirdi police station of Ahmadnagar district in Maharashtra on 12 November 2022.
Shobha Kailash Sirsath, mother of the victim, in her complaint told the police that her daughter Sneha (name changed), a resident of Sanjay Nagar area in Shrirampur, went to Shirdi with their relatives and fiancé on 11 November 2022.
Her fiancé, Amol Gaikwad, called them around eight in the night and said that Sneha was missing.
He told them that after visiting the temple and staying there for some time, he asked Sneha to come to gate number 4 where he would bring the bike from the parking area.
On reaching the decided spot – gate number 4 of the Sai Baba temple – he did not find Sneha.
Shobha told the police that she and her husband work as a daily wage labourers and they suspect that someone has abducted their daughter.
The day when Sneha went missing, she wore a yellow-coloured top, a jacket, chocolate-coloured jeans and gray shoes.
Intervention by Child Commission
Taking cognisance of this case, Chairman of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), commonly called the national child commission, issued a notice to the Superintendent of Police, Ahmadnagar.
In a notice dated 2 December 2022, the NCPCR sought reasons from the Ahmadnagar police for their “insensitivity” towards the victim’s family. The notice mentions a post by a Twitter account named Legal Rights Observatory.
The tweet says that a police inspector named Harshavarshan Gavali had located the minor but he was waiting for the minor to turn 18 (which would give benefit to the kidnapper).
It is pertinent to mention here that the minor girl as per her Aadhaar card and the family’s statement in the FIR is 17 years and 11 months old.
Intervention by Hindu activists
Hindu organisations namely the Rashtriya Shri Ram Sangh and Hindu Dharmrakshak Sena gave a memorandum to the police, saying that a man named Aman Sheikh had kidnapped the girl, and he had been pursuing her for the last two years.
Their letter further says that Sheikh was forcing the girl to have an affair with him, and he did it with the intention of converting her to Islam, but the police intentionally hid the name of the accused in the FIR so he could get off easily.
The mother of the victim during the registration of the FIR told the police that they suspected Aman Shiekh of this abduction but the police did not mention his name, the letter says.
What the family told the media
While interacting with the media, the father of the victim, Kailash Sirsath, said, “Aman Shiekh has kidnapped my daughter from Shirdi. My daughter is missing since 11 November. We have checked Aman’s house, and he is not there.”
He added that Aman’s mother runs a beauty parlour in front of Janta bakery, and she was also a party to the kidnapping.
“I can say this with full guarantee that Aman Shiekh has taken my daughter somewhere. I want my daughter back,” he said.
Shobha told the media, “Aman trapped her in his fake love and took her somewhere. We call the police every single day and they say she will come back. We want our daughter back.”
Watch the video below:
What activists told Rashtra Jyoti
Rashtra Jyoti correspondent Mayur Bhonsale talked to some local activists. They told him that Sneha and Aman Sheikh are both residents of ward number 2 of the Sanjay Nagar area.
Aman had been pursuing her for a relationship for a long time. Her family members fixed her marriage with Amol Gaikwad from their community. After learning about this, Aman reached Shridi from where he abducted her.
Sneha’s family converted to Buddhism a few years ago. They belong to the Mang caste, which falls in the scheduled caste category.
Although they have converted to Buddhism, they still worship Hindu gods, the activists said. In the areas adjoining Ahmadnagar, the ones who have converted to Buddhism generally have stopped worshipping Hindu gods.
As this family still follows old Hindu rituals, other converts don’t support them, the activists said.
What the Police told Rashtra Jyoti
Inspector Gulabrao Rajaram Patil told Rashtra Jyoti that investigation is on and he could not give any statement to the media as “the case is too sensitive”.
He said the police have been trying to locate the minor.
On asking about the accused Aman Sheikh, he disconnected the call (Rashtra Jyoti has an audio recording of the conversation).
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