Sundargarh: In an inhumane act, a woman sarpanch of Sundargarh district in Odisha allegedly sold an orphan minor girl to a Gujarat couple for Rs 5 lakh in July 2022. The Gujarat couple engaged the hapless girl as domestic help and tortured her.
The accused, identified as Dalrasa Gudia, is the sarpanch of Birbira panchayat under the Sadar block of Sundargarh district. Although the orphan girl was allegedly sold in July 2022, the matter came to light now as she managed to flee from the captivity of the Gujarat couple and return to her village. Back in her village, the girl narrated her ordeal before a local woman.
The local woman helped her to lodge a complaint with the police. Acting on the basis of the complaint, police have registered a case against the sarpanch and the couple and launched an investigation. Following the complaint, the woman sarpanch is said to be absconding to evade arrest.
According to reports, the sarpanch had sent the girl to one Vinay Patel in Jharsuguda after convincing her that she would be trained in tailoring at an institute there and be employed. Vinay, however, took the girl to Ahmedabad on the pretext of giving her training at a bigger institute.
Once in Ahmedabad, Vinay allegedly engaged the girl as a domestic help at his house and often tortured her along with his wife Sunita. She was paid a meager sum of Rs 700 per month. When the girl objected to such miserable treatment, the couple told her that they paid the woman sarpanch Rs 5 lakh for handing her over to them.
When the girl wanted to return to her village, the couple reportedly confined locked her in a room for six months and allowed her to return to her village in July 2023 after she promised to return to Ahmedabad.
According to the complaint, after the girl returned to her village, the accused woman sarpanch was forcing her to return to Ahmedabad. Unwilling to return to Ahmedabad, the girl narrated her miseries to a local woman, who took her to Dharuadihi police station to lodge a complaint.
While the police allegedly refused to register her complaint, the girl then met the SP on August 5 and apprised him of her woes.
On his part, the SP directed the police to record the girl’s statement under Section 164 CrPC and file a case under Section 370(4) and 34 IPC against the accused.