In a joint initiative undertaken by the authorities in Bangladesh and India, a 16-year-old girl, who had been trafficked to the former, was repatriated on Tuesday.
A team of the Bangladesh government handed over the girl to Indian authorities at the Gede border in the presence of government and security officials of both the countries, reports Indian media.
The legal fraternity in the neighbouring country claimed this was the first time a girl trafficked to Bangladesh was repatriated after intervention by the Calcutta High Court.
A resident of Nadia's Krishnagar area, the 16-year-old girl was kidnapped reportedly by a Bangladeshi on 23 June last year and taken across the border.
Bangladesh Police was able to rescue her and later kept her at the Sheikh Rasel Training and Rehabilitation Centrein Rangpur.
Following which the district officials of Rangpur got the minor girl in touch with her mother in Krishnagar, India.
However, during a phone conversation with her mother in November last year, the girl claimed that she was being sexually tortured at the home.
This prompted her mother to move to the Calcutta High Court in December 2021.
Justice Rajasekhar Mantha of the Calcutta High Court directed the central government to take steps to get the girl home.
The girl was first taken to a safe home in Krishnagar, from where she would be produced before a court today (23 February) to record her statement before being handed over to her parents.
Advocate Susmita Saha Dutta, who fought the case for free, and the girl's mother praised Justice Mantha, who involved central agencies to get the girl back.
The mother thanked Ranjan Banerjee, a professor of Bethuadahari College, who helped her to fight her legal battle.
Krishnagar police said that on last year's 24 June, it began a probe on the basis of a complaint by the girl's mother.
Police came to know one Milan Sheikh, a Bangladeshi national who worked at a steel furniture manufacturing unit in Krishnagar, allegedly lured the girl to Bangladesh.
Once becoming sure about the girl's location, the India's CID took up the case and got in touch with Bangladesh authorities.
The CID found out that the Detective Branch (DB) of Bangladesh Police rescued the girl and kept her at a Rangpur rehabilitation centre.
But following the girl's allegations of sexual abuse there, and her mother's intervention, Calcutta High Court stepped in.
On Tuesday, Justice Mantha also congratulated everyone involved in the initiative for making an "uphill" task possible, added Indian media.