3 held from Delhi agency that sent Assam teen to work in city

Police believe 150 such girls could be working in Bengaluru

3 held from Delhi agency that sent Assam teen to work in city

Six days after the suspicious death of the teenage domestic help, Phool Moni, the city police team despatched to Delhi arrested three persons from Milan Enterprises, the agency that sent the 17-year-old girl to work for the couple Vishal Mutt and Gaurima in Bengaluru.

The Mahadevapura police had registered a case of death under suspicious circumstances along with sections under human trafficking based on a complaint by an NGO.

According to the police, with the information they collected from Milan Enterprises in Delhi, they learnt that there are around 100 to 150 such minor girls working in different homes in Bengaluru. Another police team that was sent to Assam successfully traced her parents and brought them to Bengaluru on Friday.

Post-mortem on the victim will be conducted on Saturday after consent formalities are done, said a senior police officer. Initially, the couple had maintained that Moni was an orphan and they were taking care of her.

Gopinath Murmu (47), father of Phool Moni, is a farmer at his village Tengaigaon in Kokrajhar district in Assam. Her parents have no clue how she ended up in Bengaluru.

“Phool Moni was taken away from her parents after they were paid a nominal amount by a member of Milan Enterprises, who promised employment and better lifestyle for their daughter,” said Urai Brahma, an activist. “The couple (Vishal and Gaurima) had paid Rs 50,000 and had taken Phool Moni with them to Bengaluru as their domestic maid. The couple did not pay Moni or her parents, but they were paying the agency,” he added.

Moni may have been brought out of her home when she was 12, suspects the NGO. “We procured a ration card from her family which shows her age as 12 when she was taken away from her village in 2012,” said Geeta Menon, an activist from Sthree Jagruti Samiti.

“We are also in the process of recording statements of neighbours at Gopalan Grandeur who are cooperating and have witnessed the victim being “harassed, living in fear and also not being taken care of properly," Menon added.

“We also suspect foul play in her death. If anybody falls from the ninth floor, there would be a lot of bleeding and blood at the spot, but looking at her body, it does not look like she had a mighty fall,” Geeta Menon said.

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