By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Eight minor girls aged between 13 and 16 engaged in bonded labour were rescued by Guntur Urban police from different houses in Guntur city and three persons, who engaged these girls as domestic helpers were arrested on Friday.

Disclosing case details to media persons, Guntur Urban SP RN Ammi Reddy said that three accused — Karnapu Asiraiah alias Chiranjeevi, Vempada Padaulu alias Srinu and Kambhapu Ramu — all residents of Chillpeta Rajam village in Ranasthalam mandal of Srikakulam district came to Guntur city to work as daily wagers, some time back. 

Observing that there is a demand for domestic helpers in the city, the trio returned to their native district six months ago and brought the minor girls from different places near their village to Guntur.

They kept them in their house in Sundaraiah Colony, where they are staying and later they sent them to the houses of different people, from whom they took several thousands of rupees as advance. 

According to him, the issue came to light, when a 13-year-old girl — Kontala Durga — ran away from the house of her employer and called Dial 100.

Police constable K Raju of Nallapadu, who was on duty responded immediately and with help of the Child Welfare Committee rescued her and sent her to a welfare home. 

Welfare home supervisors took the girl into confidence and found out that she was from Girrikivada village in Ranasthalam mandal.

She was engaged as a domestic help by Karanapu Asiraiah in the house of one Yerra Sambasiva Rao. She had asked her employer’s permission to go to her home, but he refused. She asked Asiraiah for replacement, but the latter did not respond. 

Meanwhile, Durga managed to escape from the house and contacted the police by dialling 100 and was rescued. Later, Child Welfare Home officials called the village volunteer of Durga’s village – Girrikivada and contacted the girl’s parents.

It was found that along with Durga, seven other minor girls were taken from their village by the three accused promising good jobs and better future. 

On learning about their whereabouts from Durga, police and childline officials rescued the seven girls from bonded labour.

The police arrested the three accused and registered cases against them under Section 70 of Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act 2015, Sections 16, 17 and 18 of Bonded Labour Act (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act 2016, based on the complaint filed by Child Welfare Committee (Guntur) chairperson B Suguna Rani.  Cases were also booked against the three house owners.

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