Who is Tuktuki Mondal? Rather- WHERE is Tuktuki Mondal?
While we can answer the first question, the second one remains a painful mystery for our country, and now- the rest of the world. Tuktuki Monday is a 14-year-old girl hailing from West Bengal, who was kidnapped not once, but twice from her family in the course of the last 5 months. This instance of kidnapping is turning into a possible human trafficking racket- which the east Indian state is infamous for- because of the alleged passive attitude of the authorities in the state. Here are the top-five developments in the tragic case:
1. First Strike:
Allegedly, the local linchpin of the Magrahaat area in West Bengal, Salim and his gang carried out the crime of abducting Tuktuki Mondal, a class 10 student, while she was on her way back home after running a bank errand, on the afternoon of February 25, 2015. She was held captive for days, while her father, Subhash Mondal, rushed to the village sarpanch for help. The Sarpanch, dismissive at first, asked the father to take the matter to the local police, but they refused to give the case the necessary attention.
2. The Meeting:
Almost a fortnight later, on March 7, the father was contacted by Salim’s associates to set up a meeting. They offered him a deal- returning Tuktuki if they don’t press charges or get her medically examined. They in turn, promised financial support for the girl’s marriage.
3. Reunited… Temporarily:
The father had no option but to comply, if he wanted to see his daughter again. Upon agreeing, Tuktuki was returned to her family where it was discovered that she was gang-raped multiple times. They decided to take her for a medical test, but were intercepted by the gang who forbade them from going ahead with the procedure. The father also took the hasty decision of marrying off his underaged ward, in a bid to get her extra protection. When he sought the accused to deliver upon his promise of financial help, the enraged gang barged into his house, ransacked it and seized Tuktuki again.
4. Seeking Extra Support
In the following weeks, the Mondal family received regular threats, to which, the local police turned a blind eye when notified. Fed up of their perfunctory attitude,and additionally sensing that the authorities may be corrupt after discovering discrepancies in the complaint filed by them, Subhash Mondal took his case to Kolkata. He met Tapan Ghosh- founder and editor of Hindu Samhati, an organization that looks after the causes and issues of Hindu community – who advised him to seek out the help of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, as well as PM Narendra Modi.
He received another call from the accused in later days, to meet outside Dhoaghata mosque, arrive at a settlement and return Tuktuki. However, they received got the tip off that the police is accompanying Mondal, and not only fled from the scene but also set a mob loose on Mondal.
Today, the whereabouts of the little girl are absolutely unknown.
5. Global Outrage:
The news of the sickening disinterest of the authorities in this case has traveled far and wide around the world. Solidarity marches and rallies are being held in more than 10 cities- namely New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Washington DC, Atlanta – as well as London, Pune, Vijaywada and New Delhi – calling upon the Indian government to make the safe return of Tuktuki to her family a top priority. In fact, the location of the march in DC was right behind the Lincoln Memorial- in clear protest of modern day slavery.
Image Credits: Niticentral.com