Attempt to 'auction' 16-yr-old in UP thwarted, 7 held

Sources said that the minor, who was a resident of Jharkhand and whose mother had died a year ago, had been ''sold'' by her stepmother to a woman, identified as Kalawati, for Rs. 50,000.

Timely intervention by the police thwarted an alleged attempt to 'auction' a 16-year old girl in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district, about 450 kilometres from here.

Seven persons, including two women, were arrested in connection with the incident,  police sources said on Monday.

Sources said that the minor, who was a resident of Jharkhand and whose mother had died a year ago, had been ''sold'' by her stepmother to a woman, identified as Kalawati, for Rs. 50,000. The father of the minor had married some other woman and abandoned his daughter.

Kalawati brought the girl to Naurangabad village in Bulandshahr district a few days back and contacted some people there to ''sell'' her to the one, who gave her the ''best price''.

On Sunday, around a dozen people gathered at the residence of one Mahendra Kumar, a resident of the village, where Kalawati was staying, sources said.

Kalawati had every bidder meet the girl and then asked him about the price he was ready to pay for her. Sources said that some people had offered Rs. 80,000 for the minor.

On being tipped off, the police raided the house while the ''auction'' was going on and nabbed seven persons, including Kalawati and another woman. Some others managed to escape from there, sources said.

A case of human trafficking was registered and the investigation was on, the police said.

There have been reports of the sale of girls belonging to Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal in the state, especially in the western region, where the sex ratio was adverse.

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