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Haflong, September 28, 2023: In a shocking incident that has sent shockwaves through the nation, an Indian Army Major and his wife stand accused of subjecting a minor tribal girl to “inhuman torture” while employing her as a domestic worker in Himachal Pradesh. The couple, identified as Major S K Yadav and Kimi Ralsun, were apprehended by Assam police in Haflong on September 25, following reports of the alleged abuse, which came to light on September 24. This article delves into the details of the case, the legal actions taken against the accused, and the ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the victim.
The Arrest and Charges
The arrest of Major S K Yadav and Kimi Ralsun in Assam’s Dima Hasao has sent shockwaves through the nation. The couple stands accused of subjecting a minor tribal girl, who had been working as their domestic help, to inhumane treatment. The girl, now 17 years old, was allegedly kept in their custody and subjected to a year-long ordeal of physical and psychological abuse.
Upon receiving information about the disturbing treatment meted out to the teenager, Assam police swiftly acted and arrested the couple. They have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that pertain to causing grievous hurt, unlawful compulsory labor, criminal intimidation, outraging modesty, and trafficking. Additionally, charges have been filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Notably, the inclusion of POCSO sections is based on allegations that the accused had also undressed the victim and recorded videos of her, further aggravating the gravity of the charges against them.
Background and Timeline
The wife involved in the case is a native of Haflong, Assam, and had married Major S K Yadav during his posting in the district. Approximately two years ago, when Major Yadav was transferred, the couple relocated to Palampur in Himachal Pradesh. It was during this period that they brought the minor girl, who belongs to the Kuki community, with them to serve as a domestic worker.
The victim’s plight remained concealed until a recent revelation through social media. It was not the girl’s impoverished family but concerned individuals who brought the horrific incident to light. Reportedly, the victim was handed over to her family earlier this month, bearing visible signs of physical and emotional trauma.
The revelation on social media prompted prompt action from law enforcement agencies, leading to the registration of an FIR based on the victim’s account.
The Victim’s Condition
Dima Hasao Superintendent of Police, Mayank Kumar, described the victim’s condition as grave. According to him, the minor had endured “inhuman torture” over the course of an entire year. Her injuries, both visible and concealed, paint a grim picture of her suffering. Kumar detailed the harrowing injuries, including burn marks, old and fresh, cut marks all over her body, including her tongue, broken teeth, a broken nose, and severe facial swelling. Her ability to speak has been severely compromised due to the extent of her injuries.
As of the latest update, the victim remains hospitalized and in critical condition, underscoring the severity of the abuse she endured.
Support and Compensation
Recognizing the dire circumstances surrounding the victim, the district administration stepped in to provide immediate assistance. A sum of Rs 50,000 from the Juvenile Justice Fund was disbursed to the girl’s family, acknowledging the need for swift financial support.
Efforts are currently underway to secure additional compensation for the victim’s family under the provisions of the POCSO Act and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The aim is to offer comprehensive assistance to the victim’s family, addressing both immediate and long-term needs.
Rehabilitation and Legal Aid
A multi-agency effort is in motion to rehabilitate the victim and offer her the necessary legal aid. A meeting convened by the police and district administration included various agencies specializing in child welfare, social welfare, and district child protection units. The focus of this collective endeavor is to devise a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for the victim. This plan will encompass medical care, legal support, and efforts to reintegrate her into society, allowing her to reclaim her life and future.
The arrest of an Army Major and his wife for the alleged inhuman torture of a minor domestic worker has raised critical questions about the safety and protection of vulnerable individuals. This case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance, timely intervention, and the need for stringent legal measures to safeguard the rights and well-being of minors.
As the legal proceedings against the accused progress and the victim’s rehabilitation efforts continue, it is incumbent upon society to reflect on the collective responsibility of ensuring the safety and dignity of all individuals, especially those who are vulnerable and marginalized.