Rohingya minor girl ‘trafficking’ case: J&K High Court seeks information from state govt

The 2015 Rohingya crisis which erupted in Myanmar saw crimes and grave human rights violations ranging from rape, murder, arson and other mass atrocities covering a broad spectrum of offences committed against the people belonging to the minority community of the country. This article aims to shed light on one such event that has surfaced involving a minor girl from Rohingya community who, in the midst of turbulence in her country, was kidnapped from Myanmar and trafficked to Kashmir in India via Bangladesh. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on 22nd May 2018 attempted to seek accountability and information from the Jammu and Kashmir Government in the matter of a minor girl belonging to the Rohingya community of Myanmar who was allegedly trafficked to Kashmir in India. The minor girl was kidnapped following the riots and turmoil that engulfed Myanmar in July, 2015. She was abducted and illegally taken to Bangladesh against her will from where she was later sold to a man from Saliya in Anantnag district of Kashmir for Rs 80,000. The maternal uncle of the minor, Muhammad Firoz Maungdaw, represented by his counsel advocate Shah Faisal approached the court and filed a petition in 2016 in this regard. The investigation process ensued in 2016 to look into the matter. A division bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice M K Hanjura on hearing the petition have requested Senior Additional Advocate General B.A. Dar on 23rd May 2018 to compile a status report in relation to the investigation of the case. In the month of November, 2017, the custody of the minor girl was entrusted to Muhammad Firoz Maungdaw (maternal uncle of minor girl) by the Harwan Observation Home, Kashmir, (where the minor girl previously resided) as per the directions of the court. The minor’s maternal uncle belonged to the Rakian district, Myanmar but currently resides in Delhi as a refugee. The Jammu and Kashmir Mission director and Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) have been directed by the court to track and delineate the orders of transfer of custody of the victim. The Union Home Ministry has accorded to the victim a one year visa in accordance with the court directions. The court has authorized the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPRC) to oversee the victim’s stay at Delhi with her maternal uncle.