BHUBANESWAR: A City-based marine engineer and his wife were arrested by Saheed Nagar police on charges of illegally confining a minor girl and forcing her to do household work for the last nine months.
Accused Abinash Patra and his wife JS Niharika, residents of Laxmi Vihar in Saheed Nagar, were booked under multiple Sections of the IPC and Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act. They were produced in a local court which ordered judicial custody of the couple.
According to police, Patra had lured a poor family of Sarata in Mayurbhanj district to send their daughter with him by promising them that he would enrol their 14-year-old daughter in a school in the Capital City and bear all her expenses. The family agreed and sent the minor girl with Patra. However, a few days after coming to Bhubaneswar, the girl was forced to do domestic work. On resisting, she was tortured by the couple. She was even not allowed to talk to her family.
Two weeks back, the minor girl’s cousin Panjila Sundhi visited her and came to know about her plight. Both of them left for their village without informing the couple.
Later, Sundhi reported the matter to Sarata police which conducted a medical examination of the girl. The case was transferred to Commissionerate of Police following which the accused were arrested from Niharika’s village in Jagatsinghpur district, Investigating Officer of the case Padmanava Pradhan said.