30 Oct 2007, 0126 hrs IST,Bhuvaneshwar Prasad,TNN
PURNIA: In a major crackdown on the red-light area at Lakhanjhari alongside the NH-31 in the twin cities of Gulabbagh and Purnia, 23 girls, were rescued by the police on Monday morning. These 23 girls had either been trafficked or lured into the flesh trade rampant in the border areas.
Purnia SP Sudhanshu Kumar said that these girls were in the age group of 15 to 35. They had been trafficked from places like Saharsa, Kishanganj and Supaul and were lured or forced into the flesh trade. He said the girls who were immediately taken into police custody are being interrogated at Sadar Police Station to assess how they were pushed into this most heinous trade. “This interrogation is quite important and will facilitate the police in extending its arms and arresting pimps and traffickers,” he added.
He said the rescued girls would be forwarded for counselling. Also, steps would be taken to rehabilitate and, if possible, to repatriate them to their parents and families.
The rescued girls revealed they were related to the brothel keepers, the SP said adding this is how they were tutored.
For the purpose, NGOs like Bhoomika Vihar functioning in Katihar and Kishanganj have already been requested to come over to Purnia to render help in their rehabilitation and repatriation, the SP said.
NGO Bhoomika Vihar director Arun Kumar said that while quite a few rescued girls were offsprings of the brothel keepers, some of them had been initiated into the dirty flesh trade since their early childhood. They could not even tell the names of their parents or the places from which they had been brought, he added. He said the counselling of the rescued girls was at the present in progress and it was difficult to say at the moment how many of them had been trafficked or how.
The NGO, Bhoomika Vihar has done a commendable job in rescuing and rehabilitating trafficked girls across several parts of Bihar. Arun Kumar said that the girls rescued from Lakhanjhari redlight area belonged to different communities. “Their identity was being established,” he said.