By ATIKA SAYEED
5 people including Tapan Debnath, a local leader of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have been arrested by Tripura police for allegedly abducting a minor Muslim girl from Charilam of Bishalgarh in Sepahijala district.
According to police, the 16-year-old girl, belonging to the Muslim community, was abducted by a 23-year-old youth, Suman Sarkar, a resident of Chandantilla area of Bishalgarh.
RSS leader Tapan Debnath, a resident of the Indranagar area of Agartala, was arrested a day after the president of the Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) state unit Chandra Sekhar Kar was detained for his alleged involvement in the abduction case, according to Times of India.
Sarkar reportedly married the girl after converting her to Hinduism, and both Debnath and Kar had played a role in the entire incident, police said.
“So far, we have arrested five people in this connection and got some leads. We hope to rescue the girl soon. Nevertheless, the couple still remains imperceptible and untraceable,” said Krishnendu Chakraborty, Superintendent of Police (SP), Sepahijala.
A day after the girl went missing, her father had filed a missing diary with the police. After the police initially did not take any active action to rescue the girl, he filed a complaint with the High Court.
Following this, the state court had directed the police to find the girl and report to the court by September 2. But the police failed to meet the deadline.
The High Court of Tripura registered a writ of habeas corpus and directed SP Chakraborty to produce the missing girl before the court from unlawful detention by September 7.
The Advocate General informed the court that all efforts are being made to bring the petitioner’s daughter back.
The court said if the girl is found before September 7 and the police have her custody, the state can mention the case for preponing the date.
“Till such hearing takes place, the official respondents shall ensure that the girl is kept in safe custody at a women’s protection centre in comfortable and secure surroundings. The custody of the girl shall not be handed over to her parents without the permission of the court,” the court directed to the police.
Following the High Court intervention, cops arrested Sarkar’s father, Falu Sarkar, and a friend.
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