Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Jun 28:
Worried over the fate of her missing sisters, a woman in Sambalpur district of Odisha has filed a complaint with the police alleging that they have been sold off in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.
The complainant, Pushpa Saha, approached the town police and filed a complaint on Saturday that their parents—Manbhola Nayak and Prabhasini– have sold her two minor sisters for Rs 20, 000 in Pathria of Madhya Pradesh in June first week.
“They have been sold in Madhya Pradesh and are missing since over 15 days. My parents said that they will get them married, but they have actually sold them. One more woman is involved in the case. All have taken money for this,” Pushpa, the eldest of the siblings alleged.
Pushpa, who married a year ago, along with her brother and members of a voluntary organisation, lodged an FIR in this regard with the Town police on Saturday.
“Pushpa and her brother came to us. They were scared to lodge a complaint with the police. When we assured them of protection, they made up their mind to file a complaint. The complainant says that they have been sold for Rs 20, 000. We suspect involvement of other persons in the incident,” a member of the voluntary organisation which helped Pushpa said.
While one sister went missing on June 1, the other went out of the sight four days later, they said in their complaint.
Further, they alleged that their parents have sold their sisters– Jyoti (13) and Anjali (14) with the help of a mediator Durgeshini Taria residing in the locality.
Notably, the distressed family, with six children, lives near Padmakeshari Park under Mudipada area in Sambalpur city.
Pushapa’s paternal aunt also levelled a similar allegation. The latter added that a human trafficking racket is active in the region and she suspects that her two nieces had been sold off to them.
About a year ago, Pushpa’s parents had tried to sell her off. However, she was married off hurriedly and was saved from being sold, her aunt added.
On the other hand, the parents rejected the allegations that the minor girls have been sold. They clarified that their two daughters have been married in Madhya Pradesh.
“The girls are over 18 years and have been married, not sold,” Manbhola Nayak said.
Surprisingly, they could not give much details about the groom to whom their daughters have been married off.
Meanwhile, police have detained the parents and the alleged woman mediator for further interrogation.
From preliminary investigation, it did not appear to be a case of child sale, but a case of marrying off the two girls, police said. A police team has left for Madhya Pradesh to rescue the minor girls.
“Pushpa Saha, wife of Santosh Saha, has filed an FIR on Saturday. We have sent a team to Pathria in Madhya Pradesh for investigation. We have also detained the parents of the girls. Further investigation is on to ascertain the age of the girls who are said to be minors,” Sambalpur SDPO, Utkal Keshari Das said.