17 year old Bangladeshi Nimi was in love with 22 year old Indian Subash from Kolkata whom she met on social media in 2020.  When her parents came to know that she was in love with a boy from another country and religion, they decided to get her married as soon as she turned 18 which was on the 20 March 2022.  The hunt for a groom for Nimi began in earnest. Once Nimi heard about this, she was heartbroken and told Subash of her parents’ plans. Equally heartbroken, he pleaded with her to run away to India and then they could elope.   Together they looked online for an agent who would help Nimi enter India post haste. They found an agent on social media and after checking a few of his videos, they contacted him. For Rs 60,000 he guaranteed Nimi an illegal passage to India. Nimi paid the agent Bangladeshi Taka 30000 (Rs 23229.72) and Subash would pay the balance Rs 30,000 as soon as Nimi entered India.  The agent agreed. 

On 13th March 2022, a week before Nimi could turn 18, she ran away from home. All she had on her person was her mobile phone and her birth certificate. She entered India through New Jalpaiguri and after a few days of travelling met Subash.  The couple met for the first time in two years. Without wasting any time Subash took her to Kolkata and they went straight to the temple.  Three days before she could turn 18, she and Subash got married.  Though not officially married,  they started their life as man and wife in a tiny village in the outskirts of Kolkata.  While Nimi and Subash were enjoying being newlyweds, Nimi’s parents back in Bangladesh were hyperventilating. As soon as their daughter disappeared they suspected that she was trafficked by a Bangladeshi man who may have smuggled her into India, they remember her referring to him as dada (elder brother). They immediately filed a missing and kidnapping complaint with the Bangladeshi police.  For months they were unable to trace her.  Nimi called her sister once, told her she was married then deactivated all her social media accounts. 

In January 2023, Nimi called her parents to chat. Through the phone call, the police were able to track her location, her home in the outskirts of Kolkata.  They immediately connected with the Police in Kolkata. Meanwhile, our team was also contacted by an NGO in Bangladesh to find and rescue 17 year old Nimi who was trafficked in March 2022.

On 8th February the police located Nimi. The police and our team knocked on Nimi’s door. We were not met with a terrified victim of trafficking. Rather a content housewife who was waiting for her husband to come home.  At 5:30 pm when Subash returned home, he was greeted by the police and our team. Both Subash and Nimi were arrested since money was exchanged to get Nimi to illegally cross the border and she had no documentation on her, the couple were booked under Section 14 and 14(c) of the Foreigners Act 1946.  They were both sent to a juvenile home in North 24-parganas. 

Since Nimi entered India when she was a minor, our legal team is working on showing her as a victim and not be treated as an accused in this case. We are hoping to get her repatriated back to Bangladesh to be with her parents.