Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand: 12-year-old girl sold and married off twice in six months, raped, and now pregnant

Child was sold off by her mother twice in six months to two different men . The child was raped repeatedly, sexually and verbally assaulted, and forced to do household chores .

DEHRADUN: A 12-year-old girl from Pithoragarh was sold off by her mother twice in six months to two different men.The child was reportedly repeatedly assaulted and physically assaulted, and she is now two months pregnant and living in a Pithoragarh Child Welfare Committee (CWC) care.The girl grew up with her mother and stepfather (her father died when she was a baby), both daily wage workers, and eight siblings.Five of her six sisters are married, and one of them goes to school.

According to investigators, the girls' mother dropped out of primary school after passing class 5 a couple of years ago and was attempting to get rid of her to ease the burden on the family.The child's trauma started in December last year when a broker in Noida connected the mother to a man who wished to marry the child in exchange for a monthly payment of Rs 10,000 to the mother.The child was reportedly transferred to Noida, raped repeatedly, sexually and verbally assaulted, and forced to do household chores.She fled and returned to Pithoragarh around April-end.

The husband would pay the bride's mother Rs 10,000 per month under the same contract.In May, the marriage was held in Pithoragarhs Berinag.Residents became suspicious after seeing the little girl living with an unrelated man nearly three times her age, and informed police.Police rescued the child, arrested her mother, the woman who broke the marriages, and her second husband, according to local reports.

The mother and the broker have been charged with child custody under the Indian Penal Code section 370 (human trafficking) and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (IPC).The two men have been charged under the POCSO Act and section 376 (rape) of IPC.The girl is now in intensive care after being blasted by the earthquake.This is a horrifying case of sex trafficking.

Police are now investigating the role of the broker to see if she was involved in similar sex trafficking cases in the hills, he said.This might not be a case unusual, according to Jagdish Kaloni, a member of the Child Welfare Committee in Pithoragarh.The key causes of child marriages are extreme poverty and ignorance of regulations.In Pithoragarh, school enrollment is almost 100%, but dropout rates are also high.

(As per Supreme Court rules on cases involving sexual harassment, the perpetrator's identity has not been disclosed to protect her identity.)