Govt passes order to rein in errant agencies


NEW DELHI: On a day three children between the ages of 11 and 13 from were rescued from the Paharganj area, the Delhi government has passed an order asking all placement agencies to register themselves with police stations. Hailing from the district of Bardhaman in West Bengal, the kids were rescued from bonded labour. There are allegations of at least one of them being subjected to sodomy.

“Placement agencies have never been monitored. This process will help us in two ways. We can keep tabs on the establishment of such agencies, the number of domestic helps registered with them and the new ones being brought to the city each day. This will stop abuse of men and women. Secondly, we can now carry an initial verification of all the helps,” said a senior officer at the police headquarters.

The police began investigations into dubious placement agencies operating from west and southwest Delhi after at least two minors – brought from Assam and West Bengal – claimed they were raped in Delhi before being either “sold off” or placed as domestic servants in Haryana.

The latest incident came to light after the NGO Shakti Vahini recovered the three children from a small manufacturing unit and local dhabas. “The boys told us how one of them was sodomized after being brought to Delhi from Bardhaman in West Bengal. The Delhi police has registered a case,” said volunteer Rishikant.

Rishikant claimed that this was not the first time such a case had been reported. “Another girl from Jharkhand had been raped in the Punjabi Bagh-Shakurpur area last November. No one has been arrested so far”, he said. The Punjabi Bagh police denied having recorded the last incident.

Earlier, a probe into a fake adoption racket run by a doctor and two NGO workers had led police to question the existence of several dubious placement agencies. These agencies opened up their own NGOs which then rescued and kept children in their custody without legal authentication. The police said that the Juvenile Justice Act 34 (3) clearly states that it is a mandatory regulation for child care institutions to be registered by the government.

“Several such organizations have come to our notice who have flouted the rules,” said a senior crime branch officer. We are now taking the help of the Child Welfare Committees in identifying these rogues,” said a senior officer. He added that NGOs who deal with kidnapped and missing girl children are under scanner.

It was while investigating these cases, that the crime branch arrested one Amit alias Mittu who claimed to be running a NGO – Jiwan Sewa EK Prayas – and introduced himself as a reporter from a local police station. “When we checked his background, we found that he was involved in two murders at Rohtak and Punjab. In the second incident, he had murdered a taxi driver operating out of IGI airport. Upon his release recently, he had snatched a Toyota Corolla from the Palam Vihar area. The accused was arrested from the Dwarka sector 12 area,” said Ashok Chand, DCP (crime).

Trafficking victim allegedly raped by agent


Girls from West Bengal, Jharkhand and Assam end up being assaulted; women roped in as carriers to evade detection

Girls from West Bengal, Jharkhand and Assam end up being assaulted; women roped in as carriers to evade detection. The 16-year-old girl rescued along with eight other minors by the Delhi Police Crime Branch after the arrest of a human trafficking agent and a co-owner of a domestic help placement agency at Shakurpur here in the Capital recently was allegedly raped by the agent. The victim had been brought from Assam and handed over allegedly to Praveen and his wife Babita, who ran the placement agency. She purportedly disclosed that she was raped by their agent Ismail Ahmed.

While Babita and Ismail have been arrested, the police are on the look-out for Praveen and five of his agents. Praveen is suspected to have trafficked over 200 minors into the Capital in the past eight years. “It is a fact that several victims of trafficking end up being assaulted and raped. In one such case, a 13-year-old girl was recently trafficked from Jalpaiguri in West Bengal for a placement agency in Punjabi Bagh. She was gang-raped in Sadar Bazar and then placed as a domestic help in a house in neighbouring Gurgaon,” said Rishi Kant of non-government organisation Shakti Vahini that took part in the rescue operation at Shakurpur.

Another victim rescued by the NGO had become pregnant after she was raped in Gurgaon last year. “In yet another case, a 15-year-old girl from Darjeeling disclosed that while being brought to Delhi she was forced to swallow some tablets after which she fell unconscious and then was raped,” said Mr. Kant.

Missing minors

He said a large number of placement agencies operating in Delhi are trafficking minors, mostlyadivasi children from West Bengal, Jharkhand and Assam. “There has been a steep rise in trafficking cases in the recent past. We have information that about 8,600 minors were missing from different parts of West Bengal till last October. A large number of children are missing from Siliguri and Purulia districts. We suspect that most of them have been trafficked to various places including Delhi, which has become a major destination and transit point. About 6,000 minors are missing from different districts of Jharkhand.”

The human trafficking gangs rope in mostly women as carriers to evade detection. “One group of carriers generally does not know the other and hence it becomes difficult for us to unearth the entire racket. However, a constant vigil at railway stations can help bust such gangs,” said Mr. Kant.

Employers hoodwinked

These agencies employ various means to project themselves as genuine suppliers of domestic helps. In the latest case, the accused had got printed verification forms similar to those used by the police to hoodwink employers. They would have fingerprints of the victims on these forms. Mr. Kant said about 6,000 placement agencies are presently operating in the Capital. “We suspect that of these, over 1,000 agencies are located in Shakurpur. There is no effective regulatory mechanism in place for these agencies, most of which are exploiting trafficked children and women,” he added.

Anti-human trafficking drive

As part of an anti-human trafficking drive, the Delhi Police have constituted a dozen teams to carry out rescue operations. “One team has been created in each district and a nodal team of the Crime Branch has been set up under the supervision of Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police P.S. Kushwah,” said a police officer.

  • A domestic help placement agency co-owner may have trafficked 200 minors in Delhi in 8 years

  • Agencies traffic minors, mostly adivasi children from West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam

Child rescued, but not rehabilitated

GURGAON: Nothing much has changed in the life of Usman (name changed), the eight-year-old kid who was rescued from a DLF-I house four months ago, where he was allegedly kept as a bonded labourer and tortured by his employers. Since his rescue, Usman has been spending time in a madrassa, near Sheetla Mata Mandir, as his widowed mother does not have the means to take care of him.

In January, Usman was rescued by a local NGO, Shakti Vahini. Subsequently, after his case was taken up by the National Commission for Protection of child Rights (NCPCR), the Gurgaon administration was instructed to provide immediate help to the child in the form of admission to a school and monetary help under the clause of the Bonded Labour Act. However, even after five months, Usman is yet to be rehabilitated.

The then deputy commissioner R K Kataria had announced he would provide support to the victim. On Wednesday, a TOI team traced Usman to a madrassa. Wearing a skull cap and striped green kurta, he looked weak. A relative had helped his mother to get him admitted here, so that he could get free food and lodging.

Usman greeted us and seemed happy to see his mother (who had accompanied us to the madrassa) after a long time. Noorjahan, who works as a daily wager, said, After that incident, I kept him with me for some time, but had to part with him as I cannot take him to the work site. I had placed him in the DLF house for the same reasons in the first place. I had thought that he would get a better life there.

Noorjahan added that she lives alone with her daughter (5) in Dhanwapur village and because of acute poverty she has been forced to stay away from her two sons, Talib (9) and Usman. Talib lives with the relative who had helped Usmaan get into the madrassa.

Noorjahan said she was neither approached by any person from the administration nor offered any kind of help. The NGO just gave me Rs 10,000, which I spent in paying debts and buying food, she claimed. Usmans life at the madrassa revolves around studying religious texts most of the time. Along with 10 other children, he gets up at 5 am and after offering namaaz, he studies the Koran.

When asked if he was happy there, Usman could not hold back his tears and started sobbing. I have written to the Child welfare committee to provide education to Usman. If that happens, I will try to keep him with me, Noorjahan said with tear-filled eyes. NCPCR member VK Tikoo said, Through some newspaper reports, I learnt that the administration has complied with two immediate reliefs: admission to a school and monetary help of Rs 20,000 to the child. On Thursday, NCPCR will ask the Gurgaon administration about the steps taken.

Usman had allegedly been kept as bonded labourer and was subjected to physical torture for the two months by a businessman and his family members. When he was rescued, the child bore injury marks on face and on the back. His hands were also swollen due to washing utensils in cold water. The police had registered a case against the family members husband, wife and their three children and booked them under several sections of the IPC, Juvenile Justice Act, and Bonded Labour System (abolition) Act.

Human traffickers’ gang busted in Delhi

Spl Correspondent /Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, May 18 – In a major breakthrough, Delhi Police has busted an inter-state gang involved in human trafficking. At least two persons have been arrested, while nine trafficked children were rescued.

According to police sources, probe into trafficking of a girl from Assam on May 5 led to arrest of a trafficker Ismail Ahmed, who hails from Nagaon district. He was trying to strike a deal to sell the girl for Rs 1.5 lakh, when Delhi Police laid a trap and nabbed him.

Three minor girls, four female children and 2 male children have been rescued. They were medically examined and sent to Children Home, Nirmal Chhaya under intimation to Child Welfare Committee, Delhi.

Sources said Ismail Ahmed was subjected to intensive interrogation and he disclosed that there are brokers operating in Assam, West Bengal and areas along the border of Indo-Bangladesh. They procure minor children on the pretext of providing them better lives in Delhi. The procured minor children are handed over to an illegal placement agency ‘Babita Enterprises’ located at J.J. Colony, Shakurpur here .

Babita (25) who was running the illegal placement agency, was also apprehended and eight more minor children, aged between 11-15 years, were rescued with the help of NGO Shakti Vahini from their employers from various locations in and around Delhi.

The minor children were working as domestic help in the households. It was further revealed that most of them had no contact with their parents after coming to Delhi. All the rescued minor children have been medically examined and they have been sent to Children Home, Nirmal Chhaya and Salam Balak Trust according to direction of Child Welfare Committee. The trafficked children recovered are from Assam, West Bengal and from areas along the Indo-Bangladesh border.

The agent that procured minor children was paid a sum of Rs. 20,000-25,000 by Babita for each minor child that had been trafficked. Babita charged as initial amount a sum of Rs. 20,000 to 35,000 from the employer where the children were employed. Then an agreement of 11 months was drawn up with the employer for payment of monthly salary. The monthly salary that was paid was also misappropriated by Babita and it never reached their parents.

Two alleged human traffickers held


Nine minors, including two boys, rescued in joint operation by police, NGO

Two alleged human traffickers, including a woman running an illegal placement agency, have been arrested in a joint operation by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police and a non-government organisation. While nine minors, including two boys, have been rescued, the gang is suspected to have brought over 200 children in the past eight years.

The arrests have come as part of a drive launched against dubious placement agencies operating in different parts of the city.

The breakthrough came when NGO Shakti Vahini tipped off the Crime Branch that a 16-year-old girl had been brought by a person from Assam to be sold in the Capital. The police developed the information and through a decoy contacted the trafficker to strike a deal with him. The accused, Ismail Ahmed (32), demanded Rs.1.5 lakh after which he was arrested at Shakurpur by a team led by Inspector Jitender Singh. The victim was rescued and sent to a care home after medical examination.

During interrogation, Ismail disclosed that he hailed from Assam and had been bringing minors from different parts of Assam and West Bengal to Delhi on the pretext of better earning prospects. He would hand over the children to Babita (25), who ran a placement agency at Shakurpur.

At his instance, the police arrested the woman and rescued eight more minor children from different houses where they had been working as domestic helps. While one of the girls had been trafficked from Bangladesh, it is suspected that another victim had also been brought from there. Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini said the victims were first trafficked to Assam a few months ago, their names were changed to conceal their real identities and then they were brought to Delhi by the traffickers. One of the girls would occasionally talk to her parents over the phone.

The children did not know whether their salaries were being paid to their parents. Most of them were not in contact with their families.

Investigations have revealed that Babita and her husband Praveen, who is absconding, charged Rs.20,000 to Rs.35,000 from those employing the children as domestic helps on an 11-month agreement. “They would also collect Rs.2,200 to Rs.2,500 as monthly salary per children,” said a police officer. It is suspect that the money collected by the placement agency would never reach the victims’ families.

Investigations have suggested that the accused used to sell off teenaged girls and supply younger children as domestic helps. In the past eight years, Praveen and his accomplices had brought a large number of minors from Assam and West Bengal, particularly from Jalpaiguri. While many of them have now attained adulthood, the police are making efforts to know the whereabouts of 60 minor victims.

The carriers through whom the children are brought here are mostly women who accompany them from one transit point to the other and hand them over to another group to evade detection.

Two arrested for human trafficking, nine rescued


Two persons, including a woman, have been arrested in New Delhi for their alleged involvement in a human trafficking racket across Assam, West Bengal and areas near the Indo-Bangladesh border. The Crime Branch, which carried out the arrests, has rescued seven girls and two boys from them.

“The arrested persons have been identified as Ismail Ahmed (32), hailing from Nowagaon in Assam, and Babita (25), who runs an illegal placement agency,” Ashok Chand, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), said. Ahmed was arrested on May 5 from Shakarpur, while he was allegedly trying to sell a minor girl for Rs 1.5 lakh to a decoy customer.

During questioning, Ahmed told police that brokers and agents operating in Assam, West Bengal and areas near the Indo-Bangladesh border would send minors to Delhi with promises of a better life. Once here, they would be handed over to an illegal placement agency run by Babita. Seven minor girls and boys, employed as domestic helps, were rescued during the operation — conducted with the help of NGO Shakti Vahini.

Police said the minors were not being paid for the household chores they performed. “The broker, who procured the minor children, was paid a sum of Rs 20-25,000 by Babita for each of them. Babita would then charge an initial amount of Rs 20-35,000 from the employer,” Chand said.

“An 11-month agreement would be drawn up by employer for payment of monthly salary. Though Babita reportedly promised the children that the money would be sent to their parents, it was never done,” he added.

Traffickers in police net, 9 minors rescued


NEW DELHI: Nine minors have been rescued and two youths arrested in a police operation that busted a gang of human traffickers. The gang was operating in Assam, West Bengal and the Indo-Bangladesh border.

The arrested have been identified as Ismail Ahmed (32), hailing from Nowagaon in Assam and Babita (25), who allegedly runs an illegal placement agency, Ashok Chand, deputy commissioner of police (crime), said. Ahmed was arrested on May 5 from Shakurpur when he allegedly struck a deal with a decoy customer to sell one of the minor girls. She was promised a side role in a Bollywood film.

The accused told the police that there are at least six brokers and agents operating in Assam, West Bengal and the Indo-Bangladesh border who procure minor children on the pretext of providing them better lives in Delhi. The children are handed over to the illegal placement agency called Babita Enterprises. “We have identified five out of the six brokers. Babita’s husband Praveen is the main accused who has fled to Punjab. Once we nab him we will get the names of other agents too,” said an officer.

Babita was apprehended later and the remaining six girls and two boys aged between 11-15 were rescued with the help of the NGO Shakti Vahini and a police team led by additional DCP P S Khuswah. The agency paid Rs 20-25,000 to procure them. The minors were then sold to residents or small manufacturing units for Rs 30,000. The agency demanded one year’s salary of the kids as advance. Once they got the money, they never paid a penny to the children or their parents. The kids had no contact with their parents for the past three years,” said the officer.

The traffickers followed two different modules. “Children between the ages of 11-15 were placed in domestic households. Those above 15, especially girls, were sold off in Delhi and Haryana. Girls brought from Bangladesh were promised jobs in modeling agencies. Extreme poverty often led their parents to accept the agents’ propositions,” said an officer.

Crime branch officers said that a number of placement agencies in the Shakurpur area are now under their radar. “Most of them have no licenses and there are repeated complaints against them from NGOs. We are planning to approach the child and women welfare department to find solutions”, said the officer.