AID Volunteer attacked for responding to a call for help from a minor girl being forced to marry

The Association for India’s Development (AID) condemns the cowardly attack on Linkan Subuddhi, an AID Noida volunteer, who was responding to a call for help from a minor girl being forced to marry. We demand that the perpetrator of this attack be brought to justice, adequate steps be taken by the Child Welfare Committee to ensure that the girl is not forced to marry while being a minor, and both the girl and Linkan be provided protection to ensure their safety.

On 19th September, Linkan Subuddhi was attacked brutally in Naya Bays, Sector 19 Noida. Linkan is a volunteer with AID Noida, which runs a community school Prayas in Noida. The perpetrator was attempting to forcibly marry a 14 year old minor who is a student at the Prayas school.

On the night of 18th September, Linkan received a call from the young girl, saying that she was being forced to marry against her will. She requested Linkan’s help, as she feared being molested. Linkan went the next morning to talk to the girl. While she was talking to the girl, the perpetrator suddenly tried to attack her and the girl with a knife. The perpetrator chased Linkan and cornered her at a dead end near a sewer canal. He caught Linkan’s throat and tried to strangle her. Linkan tried to fight back but was forced to the ground. He then placed his foot on Linkan’s chest and picked up a brick lying nearby. He used the brick to hit Linkan on her head repeatedly, until she lost consciousness.A few months earlier as well, Linkan had intervened to protect the same student from forced marriage. At that time, the girl’s mother had taken her to her village, with the intention of conducting the marriage. Linkan had contacted the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and the local authorities, who then stepped in to protect the girl.

Seeing the attack, some people from the community came to the rescue. The perpetrator was able to escape. Linkan was taken to the nearby Kailash Hospital where she was admitted to the ICU. Volunteers from AID Noida immediately came and informed Linkan’s parents. A police complaint was filed. The girl’s mother was detained by the children of the community when she came back at night and has now been detained by the police. The primary perpetrator is still absconding.

At the ICU, after initial observations doctors said that Linkan was in a critical state and they will need 48 hours to find out if she can fully recover. Being the fighter that she is, she has shown good recovery.

The CWC has been contacted again for the welfare of the girl in question. The issue of marrying off minor girls against their will is a serious one. In the past, a girl from the same community committed suicide after being married off in a similar fashion. We ask the CWC to implement a proactive program in this community to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Times of India Article on Sep 21st

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