NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A woman in India's financial capital, Mumbai, has been arrested for trying to sell her 13-year-old daughter’s virginity for 100,000 rupees ($1,556), the Times of India reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, an auto rickshaw driver offered the girl to a social worker who happened to be the passenger inside. The social worker informed a local charity, the Harmony Foundation, which then contacted police.
"He (the driver) said that buyers were free to do whatever they desired with the girl. He also said that the girl had just attained puberty and would be delivered only after her period ended in three to four (days)," Abraham Mathai, head of the Harmony Foundation, was quoted as saying.
Police arrested both the auto rickshaw driver as well as the mother for trafficking-related offences.
"The girl is in shock and not talking much. We do not want to add to her trauma. She will be sent to a home where she will open up with the help of counsellors," said Madan Ballal, senior inspector with the Thane Crime Branch in Mumbai.
"The mother has confessed that she was trying (to sell) her daughter's virginity. We are not sure yet if her husband even knew about it."
Indian girls and women face a barrage of threats, say experts. Statistics showed that 244,270 crimes against women were reported to the Indian police in 2012 compared with 228,650 in 2011, according to the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB). These crimes include rapes, kidnappings, sexual harassment, trafficking, molestation and cruelty by husbands and relatives.