Updated: Feb 24
Ruma* testified bravely against her brothel keeper Bindoo Khalkor in the month of July. In September when another court hearing came up, Freedom Firm staff found out that the opposition lawyer had submitted a duplicate birth certificate that mentioned Ruma’s birth date as 30th February 1996, overlooking the fact that there are only 28 days in the month of February! Amazing how the accused, in the process of fabricating a birth certificate, supplied the proof that it was false.
The public prosecutor asked our staff to approach Ruma’s family to get her original birth certificate. He also requested that Freedom Firm staff encourage Ruma’s parents to testify against Bindoo Kalkhor. (This brothel-keeper is presently in prison after being arrested for forcing a 14-year-old girl into prostitution. Read story here.)
Last week (3rd October), when our social workers visited Ruma’s hometown to get her birth certificate, the family and villagers said that Ruma had no birth certificate as she was born on a farm. The social workers, however, found a birth record from the Anganwadi register (a government nursery school) that states her date of birth as 18th February 2001, making Ruma, 16 years old, and therefore, a minor.
We are grateful that Ruma’s parents have agreed to testify in court against Bindoo Khalkor on the next date.
Find the next update on Ruma's case here.
*Name changed to protect identity