News on Anti Trafficking in India and South Asia is a NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH DESK – SHAKTI VAHINI LEGAL RESEARCH INITIATIVE
BHOPAL: The police in tribal-dominated Betul district of Madhya Pradesh are working on a case of missing girls which could unearth a huge human trafficking racket manned by an organised inter-state gang from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The district police have so far collected details of some 1,300 girls, who have gone missing from the district over the past few years. These victims were allegedly lured by promising jobs in big cities and taken away from their villages by neighbours or acquaintances. After leaving the villages, the families of the victims have not heard from them. A few girls, who managed to flee from the clutches of the racket, narrated harrowing tales of how they were raped and forced into prostitution.
Speaking to TOI on Monday, superintendent of police (Betul) Lalit Shaikwar claimed that the police cracked yet another network of a human trafficking gang and rescued two minor girls after they were taken to Rajasthan.
A gang of six persons including a woman was arrested on Monday morning from Ratlam district after the girls narrated the story of how they were allegedly abducted, raped and smuggled into Rajasthan. “On June 6, a complaint was lodged with the Ganj police station by a Somlal, a tribal, who reported that two minor girls aged 15 and 16 years were missing from the Hamlapur area on the outskirts of Betul town. The girls had gone to an adjoining field a week ago and did not return home. Families of the missing victims searched the houses of relatives and friends but in vain,” Shaikwar said.
Investigations into the missing girls’ case led the police to busting an inter-state human trafficking racket and arrest of six people, including one woman. The rescued girls then told the police that Pawan and another youth named Prem allegedly raped the girls after abducting them. Later, they were taken to Bhilwara in Rajasthan.
In Bhilwara the bidding was for ‘brides’ – apparently the girls were to be sold to men, who were looking for wives. The sale was about to take place when Pawan was arrested and Malati Verma got a call from the police. The girls returned their home.
Police said that details are being worked on the cases of girls reported missing over the past five years so they can be rescued.
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