Congress walks-out on human trafficking

BHOPAL: The Opposition Congress on Wednesday staged a walk-out in the state assembly on the issue of 4,990 minor girls who have gone missing over the past five years from the state. The Congress suspected that these girls could have become victims of human traffickingand alleged that neither the government nor the police were taking any serious heed of the increasing number of such cases.

During the Question Hour, the matter was brought-up by Congress MLA Ram Niwas Rawatwho asked in the House: Will the home minister tell us whether the police headquarters has information about girls being abducted for human trafficking? If so, from 2008 to January 2013 how many such cases have been reported and from which districts?” Rawat wanted to know the number of persons arrested in connection to human trafficking cases.

The Congress also asked if special cells were constituted in the districts of Gwalior and Shivpuri to stop human trafficking and the facilities these cells were provided so they could work efficiently.

In reply, home minister Uma Shankar Gupta admitted that the police had such information that girls were going missing. From 2008 onwards, 4990 minor girls were reported as missing. Human trafficking and the sale of minor girls is a matter of great concern for us,” the home minister said. He explained that 426 accused were arrested and special anti-human trafficking cells have been constituted in Gwalior and Shivpuri under the supervision of a joint superintendent of police for each cell to control the menace. Gupta added that the special cells have been provided with vehicles, motorcycles, computers, furniture and all other infrastructure.

But the Congress was not convinced. Rawat argued that all reports of missing girls are only registered as missing reports while cases should be registered for buying and selling of minor girls under sections 372 and 373 of the IPC.

Uma Shankar Gupta defended that every case cannot be put one a set of IPC sections. There are circumstances when girls come back to their homes and the parents don’t come back to tell the police that their ward is back. So not every case is that of human trafficking,” he added.

Congress leader of Opposition Ajay Singh told the House that the state government did not seem to be serious on the issue. He said while the state runs a ‘Beti Bachao Abhiyan’ against female foeticide, it was not concerned about girl children being abducted and sold. The state is not serious about such a sensitive issue and hence, we are walking out,” he said. All Congress MLAs followed him out of the House.

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