A 13-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted from a village here earlier this month has been rescued from Malda in West Bengal. She was rescued by the local police following a tip-off by a non-government organisation, Shakti Vahini.
The girl’s family had lodged a complaint with the police on January 13 stating that she had been abducted by their neighbour, a native of Malda in West Bengal. The complaint said the accused had abducted her on the pretext of marrying her. A First Information Report was registered at Kherki Dhaula police station in this connection.
The NGO took up the matter with the police and also met the victim’s family.
“We then contacted the Malda Police and the girl was rescued from the Habibpur police station area. During counselling the victim revealed that the accused took her along on the pretext of marriage. It is a clear case of human trafficking and the accused probably wanted to sell her,” said Shakti Vahini activist Rishi Kant. The accused has been arrested.
Mr. Kant, who has been working on the issue of human trafficking in Haryana, said it was the first such case of reverse trafficking in which a girl from Haryana was trafficked to West Bengal.
“Every year a large number of girls are being trafficked from West Bengal to Haryana, but this present case is the first instance where the opposite has happened. It could be the tip of an iceberg and hints at the possibility of a reverse trend. In 2011, more than a thousand minors and 2,677 adults had gone missing in Haryana. There is need for strengthening inter-State police and non-government organisations’ partnership to combat human trafficking in the State.”
FAIZAN HAIDER IN THE HINDUSTAN TIMES
Around this time in 2012, the issue of child trafficking was in limelight due to the case of the battered child and her 14-year-old ‘guardian’. The teen was treated as a victim when it came to light that she was raped and her father used to beat her up. A year on, various gangs continue to smuggle in young girls to the Capital and force them to work for various placement agencies. “The case was an eye-opener. The chain of events that had led to the incident was shocking. Along with the 14-year-old girl, the mother of the baby too was a victim of trafficking,” a child right activist said.
Following the incident, the Delhi Police launched a massive crackdown on placement agencies and trafficking gangs. Over 1,000 children were rescued in 2012 and action was taken against more than 150 placement agencies. The rescued children were usually employed as workers in factories or as domestic helps in homes.
“On an average, 14 children go missing in Delhi every day. Many of them end up in traffickers’ hands. Children below eight years are forced into begging. The older ones are pushed into child labour. Organised gangs kidnap minors and transport them to other cities,” said Rakesh Senger, national secretary of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, an NGO.
Sources in Delhi Police said special measures were being taken to curb the problem. “We have identified the areas from where children go missing. We will soon launch an awareness programme to educate parents about safeguarding their children. We take missing persons’ complaints very seriously now,” said a senior police officer.
Rishikant, executive director of NGO Shakti Vahini, said strict laws against trafficking could act as a deterrent.
NEELAM PANDEY IN THE HINDUSTAN TIMES
A year after the death of the two-year-old battered baby at AIIMS last year, the Delhi government has constituted a centralised cell to deal inter-state cases of trafficking. The government is making efforts to chart out steps needed to deal with trafficking, especially of girls who are later exploited sexually. The state women and child department has appointed a consultant to come up with a list of initiatives and steps required to keep a check on trafficking. The consultant stressed the need to provide intensive counseling to rescued children so that they can lead a normal life.
“There is a lack of coordination between states on the trafficking front. A number of children are trafficked to Delhi and repatriating them is our biggest concern. We needed a systematic approach to deal with the situation and so decided to form a centralised cell. It will coordinate with states such as West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and other states from where children are mostly brought to Delhi,” said Kiran Walia, women and child development minister.
Most trafficked children are either forced into prostitution or employed by placement agencies. The women and child development department has now taken up the matter with the labour ministry to bring in a bill to rein in placement agencies. The department wants these agencies to be registered to ensure that the government can keep a check on them as many flout labour norms.
In the past few months, child welfare committees have rescued 197 children and repatriated them with the help of Delhi Police. The government now plans to tie up with various NGOs such as Shakti Vahini, who work for such children, to carry out rescue operations on a larger scale.
The issue of trafficking has been taken up with other states from where a majority of the children are trafficked to Delhi. These states have been asked to share details on a regular basis of children who go missing.