A teenage victim of human trafficking from Odisha, who was sold to Kolkata’s red-light area in Sonagachi, has been compensated with 9 lakh rupees by the District Legal Services Authority.
According to a report carried by Bengali portal The Wall, she was rescued in May 2016 by Kolkata Police’s Anti Human Trafficking Unit. The police had arrested the three main accused in the case as well before filing the chargesheet.
It was under this chargesheet that a legal battle was being fought for the last four years and after the end of it the girl was paid the compensation. Reportedly, no victim of human trafficking has received such a huge amount in West Bengal till date.
The Kolkata branch of International Justice Mission (IJM) played an important role in ensuring justice for the teenager. The officials of IJM helped the lawyers and investigators with all their resources.
The case was transferred from the district court to the POCSO court. From there the case was transferred to the Calcutta High Court in mid-2018, when IJM had appealed for compensation.
Eventually, the High Court had ordered the District Legal Services Authority to pay the teenager. IJM had further appealed to increase the amount as the victim was under 14 years old when she was trafficked. At the end of everything, the High Court set the amount of rupees nine lakh.
The IJM has called the case and its verdict historic. “This judgement is a win for the law and order. The compensation amount may have been historic, but the justice which was done to the victim is also an important aspect to focus on,” the Bengali portal quoted a IJM lawyer as saying.
The teenager, now a student of clas eight, has decided to use the money for academic purposes in future.