Northeast girls being trafficked to Haryana for marriage

TIMES OF INDIA

NEW DELHI: A large number of girls from the northeast are being regularly trafficked and forced to enter into wedlock in Haryana, the home ministry has found. Law enforcement agencies have found many such instances, specifically in Hissar district of the state. A definite trend was noted by the home ministry which on Wednesday reviewed measures being taken by different states to combat human trafficking which takes the dimension of organized crime in the country.

It was also noted during the day-long meeting that girls from Nepal, Bangladesh and different parts of the country were often trafficked to metropolitan cities. While most of them ended up in brothels, the remaining were used by traffickers as child labourers, organ transplant donors and camel jockeys. “We have recovered many girls from Hissar in Haryana. All of them were forcibly married after being trafficked,” Assam superintendent of police Violet Baruah said after a meeting of state anti-trafficking cell officers here.

Baruah said the issue has been a major concern for Assam and such crimes have been taking place very often and happening due to the dismal sex ratio in Haryana. Additional secretary in the home ministry B Bhamathi, who chaired the review meeting, said, “It is a major concern for us. With a view to tackling the menace of human trafficking, the ministry has undertaken a number of measures that include setting up of an anti-trafficking nodal cell to act as a focal point for communicating various decisions and follow up on action taken by the state governments.”

Bhamathi said the home ministry had sanctioned a comprehensive scheme against trafficking in human beings through training and capacity building. “It is proposed to establish 330 anti-human trafficking units (AHTUs) throughout the country and impart training to 10,000 police officers through training of trainers component,” she said.

The ministry has already released Rs 8.72 crore to all states as first installment for 2010-11 for setting up 115 AHTUs. All states have received funds and 101 AHTUs are functional. Funds for 2011-12 have also been released to the state governments for establishment of 110 AHTUs. A project on strengthening law enforcement response in India against trafficking in human beings was taken up in the home ministry as a joint initiative of the government of India and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in select states.

“The joint project has contributed towards developing of 12 very important resource books about protocols and standard operating procedures and in setting up of AHTUs,” Bhamathi said.

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