Special force to combat trafficking

Department of Police, Delhi

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NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police is creating specialized Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTU) that will trace missing children and look into cases of trafficking of girls for prostitution and children for bonded labour.

The AHTU would track organised gangs operating in Delhi and NCR who have been trafficking women and children from the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and eastern Uttar Pradesh. Such gangs lure women and children by promising them jobs in Delhi, but sell them off to be put up for begging, prostitution or as bonded labourers.

Around 2,000 children, including young girls, women and children, go missing from Delhi every year. Apart from that, several gangs from outside the city run trafficking rackets in the garb of placement agencies, said a source.

The new units are being created following a direction by the ministry of home affairs (MHA) in which it was reportedly stressed upon creating 335 anti-human trafficking units in the country for which Rs 8.72 crore has already been released as a first installment to all States. According to recent National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) figures, 23,608 complaints regarding violation of human rights of women, including trafficking, between April 2007 and January 31, 2011, have been registered. The cases of missing persons are much more than these, said a police officer.

The AHTUs, in all the 11 districts of Delhi, will have officials who will gather intelligence on organised gangs, trained staff to deal with trafficking cases, deal with victims of trafficking and help in rehabilitation of the victims. “Rather than chasing the gangs, these units will help in combating trafficking,” said a senior police officer.

Delhi Police would be working in close coordination with ministry of women and child development, ministry of labour and employment, ministry of tourism, ministry of railways and Delhi government in this regard, apart from NGOs. Soon, there will be a dedicated helpline for these units as well.

The units are already under formation in all the 11 districts of Delhi where District Investigation Unit (DIU) officers would be looking after the anti-trafficking matters. “An officer of ACP rank would work 24 hours with one inspector, two sub-inspectors and other subordinates in each unit and they would be present for victims of trafficking on all calls,” said the officer.

The Delhi Police would also begin public awareness campaigns to make the potential target and vulnerable groups aware of such activities, including traps laid by traffickers. “Beat constables will be sensitised to look out for cases of suspected trafficking at all transit points like railway stations, bus stands, taxi stands, public places, isolated hotels, guest house, streets, etc,” said the officer.

On February 2, Delhi Police had arrested four members of a human trafficking gang who had bought a handicapped girl from Jharkhand for Rs 10,000.


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