NGO Worker Allegedly Escapes Kidnapping Attempt; Accused At Large
A Shakti Shalini counsellor escaped an alleged kidnapping attempt by a man who was forcing a survivor into sex work.
Camera: Abhishek Ranjan
Editors: Mohd Ibrahim and Sandeep Suman
On 7 August, Kritika* (name changed), a counsellor at Shakti Shalini, a Delhi-based NGO which works with survivors of sexual abuse, was allegedly followed from her office in New Delhi. She claims that a group of six people, that included two women, caught hold of her outside an ATM and tried to push her into a car.
“Around 6-6.20, the place where I take the bus from every day, there were two females standing. They held me, and A****, who was there too, held my hand. There was one more lady whose name I don’t know. They held my hand tried to push me inside a car.”Kritika
Kritika is counselling a woman named Naina*, who was allegedly being forced into sex work by a man named A****. Naina, along with her 11-month-old baby boy, went to the Shakti Shalini centre seeking counselling and shelter.
“There is a resident in our shelter who came to us on 26 July with her 11-month-old baby. She came here and told us that she was being threatened by a man named A**** and that he would physically and sexually abuse her. He would even abuse the baby. The minute she got the opportunity, she ran away and came to Shakti Shalini with someone’s help.”Kritika
According to Manisha*, another counsellor at the NGO, ever since Naina and her baby came to their shelter, threats and intimidation from the people accused had become a regular occurrence.
“They used to come often and force us to make them meet Naina. But Naina had told us many a time that she is being threatened by them and that she never wants to see them. For us, the survivor’s consent is of paramount importance, if she refuses, then we don’t push her.”Manisha
However, in this particular case, the accused is now allegedly harassing the NGO workers.
“This is definitely unprecedented. We have had difficult cases we have had difficult times, but nothing like this. This is really immense. We are, in this particular case, dealing with a gang of criminals and a very young gang of criminals that seem to have a lot of clout.”Dr Sharti Sharma, Honorary Secretary, Shakti Shalini
When The Quint contacted the officer, they said that there was no conclusive evidence to prove that Kritika was being kidnapped on 7 August. He said,
“I patrolled the area for almost 45 minutes, asked the vendors and the people around to talk about what happened between 6-6:30 pm. Nobody seemed to recall anything. Yes, there was one man named D**** who was caught by my Beat Constable. He was hurling abuses at Kritika, he was held. Since Kritika claims that she was threatened, we have put Section 509 (criminal intimidation) and Section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt). The case has been disposed.”
According to Kritika, the threats haven’t stopped even after the charges. She has been asked to not step out alone and be picked up and dropped home by someone at all times.
Shakti Shalini has asked for the case to be re-investigated.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.