Woman, girl rescued from Haryana

Haryana Trafficking

BY PANKAJ SARMA  PUBLISHED IN THE TELEGRAPH

Guwahati, Dec. 27: A mother of two who was sold off as a bride and a minor girl who was held captive by a man, both from Morigaon district of Assam, were rescued from Haryana in two separate raids this week.

A police source said the 32-year-old woman, a mother of two kids, was lured by a man from Bongaigaon district with the promise of a job in Delhi.

While her husband and children stayed in Morigaon, she went to Delhi in the hope of a job that could get her out of penury but was instead handed her over to a trafficker who sold her to a man in Haryana for Rs 67,000.

The man forced her into marriage and subjected her to the worst form of slavery. “She would perform household chores the entire day and at night the man would exploit her sexually,” the source said.

After three months, the woman somehow managed to call her family, following which a police team from Assam went to Haryana and rescued her with the help of their counterparts in that state on Wednesday. A case has been registered in Morigaon.

The minor girl was rescued from Faridabad town by police with the help of an anti-trafficking non-governmental organisation, Shakti Vahini.

Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini said the 10-year-old revealed during counselling that she had been taken to Haryana by her elder sister, who is married into a family there. Her sister got her a job with one Nempal, who kept her confined in his house under Sarai Khwaja police station.

“The victim was forced to do all kinds of household work, including washing utensils and clothes, cleaning and taking care of Nempal’s kids. During the rescue operation, the girl was found extremely traumatised,” Kant said.

“Unable to bear the torture, the girl somehow escaped from the house but was caught by Nempal. When the residents of the locality opposed this, he shifted her to another house in a nearby lane.”

The NGO was tipped off about the girl’s plight by one of its sources. “We immediately contacted Haryana police who sent a team to rescue the girl from Nempal’s residence. During the rescue operation, the team faced stiff resistance,” he said, adding that the girl was held captive for 21 days.

The minor was produced before Faridabad Child Welfare Committee after a medical examination.

According to the committee’s directive, the girl was given shelter at a children’s home. Simultaneously, Shakti Vahini contacted the Morigaon superintendent of police and told him about the girl.

“The SP took swift action and sent a team of Assam police to Faridabad. He also sent a letter requesting the girl’s custody. The Child Welfare Committee, Faridabad, handed over the girl to Assam police and directed them to produce her before the Child Welfare Committee, Morigaon, and submit a report,” Kant said.

Reasons for trafficking from Assam
Displacement and loss of livelihood because of communal violence, flood and erosion
Acute poverty
Demand for domestics in metros
Shortage of girls for marriage in Haryana and Punjab
Lack of sustainable job opportunities

7 agents booked for labour trafficking

Bhubaneswar: Five of the seven persons involved in illegal trafficking of labourers through Nuapada district on Thursday and Friday have past records of similar crime. Police on Saturday said they have continued manhunt after the labour department lodged a complaint on Friday.

The seven persons booked for trafficking are Bali Rana, Dinesh Sahu, Budhankar Sahu, Nilakantha Chandrakar, Kruparam Chandrakar, Mukesh Chandrakar and Tolly Sahu. Except Dinesh and Tolly, the rest five were earlier arrested for their alleged involvement in trafficking of workers in October 2012, Khariar Road police station IIC J K Patnaik said. Trial is on in the case and the accused are out on bail, he said.

All the seven agents are natives of Nuapada district while the workers trafficked were from Bargarh and Nuapada districts of Odisha and neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

Police have registered a case under Section 374 (unlawful compulsory labour) and Section 367 (kidnapping or abducting in order to subject person to grievous hurt, slavery, etc) and Section 34 of the IPC.

The labour department, meanwhile, has found that all the 619 workers had reached their native places. After 333 of the group were trapped for a second time by labour agents, there was apprehension about whereabouts of others.

“It was found that the 333, who were re-captured were those who stayed at Khariar Road till late on Thursday for verification. Others had left for their native places by then,” said district labour officer Niranjan Kumura.

He said the government has kept a strict vigil on the transit points as the agents may try to re-send the workers as they have already received part payment for sending them to Uttar Pradesh.

Odisha’s vicious migration cycle: ‘Do you want to part with your leg or hand?’

M_Id_451072_Odisha

PUBLISHED IN THE INDIAN EXPRESS

A December night two desperate men, held captive by a labour contractor, were asked this, and had to make a choice. DEBABRATA MOHANTY reports on the latest victims of Orissa’s vicious migration cycle

It had been a fortnight that Dialu Niyal and Nilambar Dhangdamajhi had been held captive and subjected to physical and verbal abuse. Nothing though had prepared them for what happened on December 15 night deep in a forest of Bolangir district. Labour contractor Parvesh Duni and his accomplices dragged them there and Duni, the two say, asked them which of their limbs they would rather lose: a leg or a hand.

“For a moment I was bewildered. Then Nilambar muttered to the contractor that if we have legs at least, we could walk for the rest of our lives. We told the contractor he could take our hands,” says Niyal, speaking over the phone from his bed in VSS Medical College and Hospital in Burla, Sambalpur district. “They were arguing whether to kill us or leave us maimed. They concluded that they would chop the hand with which we had taken the advance for working in a kiln. First they chopped off Nilambar’s right palm with an axe. As he was howling in pain, they held my right hand and someone landed a blow. Both of us passed out.”

As soon as they came to, they hurried to a nearby hillock and hid. “Despite profusely bleeding, the two walked up the hill and climbed down to a farmer’s barn the next morning. The farmer, after hearing their story, took them to the bus stop. A villager offered them a cheap plastic bag to cover their wounds. They took a bus to reach Bhawanipatna town of Kalahandi, where the locals took them to a hospital,” says Kirtan Nayak, a journalist.

As the news spread, the Kalahandi district administration cracked down. Three days after they had allegedly left Niyal and Dhangdamajhi to die, Duni and his aides — Bana Majhi, Baikuntha Rout, Arjun Bhoi and Gangadhar Dash — were arrested from Nuapara district.

Lying on adjacent beds, Niyal, a 22-year-old illiterate and landless Dalit youth from Pipalguda village, and Dhangdamajhi, a 32-year-old tribal farmer and father of two from Nuaguda village — both from Kalahandi district — say they met for the first time on November 30, when with 10 other villagers from Jaipatna block of Kalahandi district, they set off with Duni’s men for work in Chhattisgarh. Midway they came to know that they would be sent to brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh instead. The 10 others managed to flee, Niyal and Dhangdamajhi paid the price. Duni allegedly took out his anger on them as he had paid the 12 of them Rs 14,000 each, in advance, to work at a brick kiln.

Thousands of villagers like them from the impoverished Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi travel to Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra every year to work in brick kilns.

In Jaipatna, even the rise in agriculture productivity has done nothing for the likes of Niyal and Dhangdamajhi. Schemes like NREGA which the government hoped would prevent migration have been an unqualified disaster in Kalahandi. In 2012-13, out of 74,599 households in the district which got NREGA work, 3,695 housesholds, or less than 5 per cent, got 100 days of work. This year less than 1 per cent of the 63,217 households which got NREGA work have got 100 days’ work. In such a situation, says B K Upadhyay, the district collector, “People fall for the advance from contractors.”

Though officially in the Above Poverty Line category, Niyal’s family of five scrounges for a living. The family of Dhangdamajhi, which has a house under the Indira Awas Yojana and 3 acres of land, lives by selling kendu leaves. “Having two square meals for my sons is a dream,” says Dhangdamajhi.

In November, Duni, through his agent Baikuntha Rout, came offering Rs 14,000 each to the 12 villagers. They left Kalahandi with the 12, including four children, first heading for Khariar road in Nuapada district, from where Duni arranged a bus for them to Raipur. After they reached Raipur on December 5, Duni allegedly told them that they would have to go to Hyderabad. “This led to arguments with Duni and his agents, who insisted that the villagers would have to go to Hyderabad as they had been paid in advance,” says Kalahandi SP Sarthak Sarangi.

Though the 12 villagers boarded a train to Hyderabad, six slipped away between Raipur and Gondia. “The other six were caught by the agents at Raipur station on December 6. Of them, two husband-wife couples escaped after Railway Protection Force men intervened. Niyal and Dhangadamajhi were unlucky,” adds the SP. According to the two, the next day, they were taken to Duni’s village Kotmal, kept under house arrest and made to work in his fields. “Duni and his men kept asking us to get Rs 2 lakh, saying they had paid

Rs 1.68 lakh for the 12 of us. They contacted our families, threatening to kill us if the money was not paid. We told them we could never pay them,” says Niyal.

On December 15 evening, the two were taken in an SUV to Belpada forest in Bolangir, where their hands were cut. Duni and his men allegedly threw the severed palms into a pond nearby and left the two bleeding on the forest road, thinking they would die.

While Orissa Labour Department officials say that 1.18 lakh people migrate every year from the state for work, it has done no survey to determine that figure. According to Umi Daniel, head of Migration Thematic Unit of Aide et Action South Asia, “The numbers could be more than a million. Almost every year KBK (Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi) districts face drought-like situation which results in mass migration. The labour contractors come to villages before winter and pay advances for work in brick kilns. The money helps people pay off their debt. The next year is the same story. It’s a business of at least Rs 100 crore, which keeps local politicians, sarpanchs, labour contractors and policemen enriched.”

Existing laws have proved ineffective. As per the Inter State Migrant Workman Act, 1979, each job contractor who hires at least five labourers for work outside the state is supposed to register himself with the District Labour Officer. But the threat of Rs 1,000 fine and three-month imprisonment is hardly a deterrent for defaulting contractors. Last year, the Orissa government signed an MoU with Andhra Pradesh for reducing vulnerabilities of migrant workers. Orissa is supposed to get job contractors and their list of labourers registered with the district labour office. In Kalahandi, only three contractors have registered. The contractor taking villagers from Jaipatna block was unregistered.

While the state government has announced relief measures for Niyal and Dhangdamajhi, including assistance for an artificial limb, NREGS job card, disability pension and monetary assistance of Rs 4 lakh, Niyal wonders why they had to lose their hands for the government to take note of their plight.

This attention too will last only briefly. P K Baliarsingh, Assistant Labour Commissioner, blames the problem on the labourers, saying “these people are so greedy they fall for the advance given by contractors”. “Do you think we have the necessary staff to deal with all this?” he adds.

Chirag Dilli, Kotla emerging as transit hub for human trafficking

Chirag Dilli, Kotla emerging as transit hub for human traffickingPUBLISHED IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

NEW DELHI: South Delhi is fast emerging as transit hub for trafficking of children and teenagers from West Bengal and Jharkhand to various parts of the country.

The arrested women have revealed the victims are first brought to Kotla Mubarakpur or, at times, Chirag Dilli where they are ‘trained’ before dispatch to placement agencies and red light areas. “The ones to be sent out to other north Indian states are moved to kotha no. 64 on G B Road in central Delhi and those meant to be in Delhi are moved to other kothas,” said a source.

This time, police raided a building called Chaudhary in Kotla where they obtained the leads. The Sabzi Mandi road in Chirag Dilli is another hideout, the source said. “The victims are mostly from West Bengal and Jharkhand,” Rishi Kant from Shakti Vahini said.

Seasoned officers from the anti-human trafficking unit say maid abuse and sexual exploitation should be dealt with jointly. “They are two sides of the same coin. A holistic approach is required with states joining hands,” an officer said.

Engineer held for human trafficking

Engineer held for human trafficking

PUBLISHED IN THE TIMES OF INDIA – NEW DELHI RAJ SHEKHAR AND SOUMREET BHATTACHARYA – TNN 10 DECEMBER 2013

A major interstate trafficking racket has been busted and four traffickers—three women and an engineer—arrested. Two of the four persons trafficked, whose inputs are available with police, have been rescued.

“Radha (30) was arrested from Meerut and Sonia arrested from Kotla Mubarakpur in south Delhi. Sapna Gaur (25) and Gaurav Gaur, who has a degree from Punjab Technical University, have been arrested from Patel Nagar in west Delhi,” said a senior official with the anti-human trafficking unit.

A West Bengal CID team led by Sharbari Bhattacharya and NGO Shakti Vahini began operations on Friday. One of the rescued persons, who is just 15 years old, managed to call up her parents from Meerut using a mobile phone belonging to one of her customers. They gave her the number of a police officer from the anti-human trafficking unit to whom she narrated her ordeal.

“On Friday, Delhi Police and our team rushed there and rescued her with help of local police,” Rishi Kant from Shakti Vahini said.

The girl was brought to Delhi and she gave police several leads. A raid was carried out and Sonia was arrested. Police then began to work on another input about a young woman holed up in G B Road. On Tuesday afternoon, a trap was laid in Patel Nagar in which a decoy was to hand over a girl to a pimp.

Sapna and Gaurav were the arrested and they spilled the beans regarding the whereabouts of the woman in G B Road. A raid was conducted with help of Kamla Market police and she was rescued.

While the teenager was traded for Rs 40,000 to the traffickers, Sapna and Gaurav received Rs 60,000 for this woman who was also from West Bengal and was 23 years of age. During interrogations, the Gaurs revealed the two were part of a deal arranged by their contacts in Kolkata. They were supposed to get a third woman as part of this deal.

Members of the NGO added that the teenager was traded to Sonia who took her to Meerut and gave her to Radha, who runs a brothel there. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old was kept in the Patel Nagar house of the Gaurs for a few days before being taken to the brothel in G B Road. “I was made to do housework during my stay at their house since Sapna was pregnant at that time. I would be beaten and made to drink beer by Gaurav if I refused,” she said in her complaint to police.

Two more contacts, identified as Rajesh and Anuradha Sardar, were arrested in Kolkata a few days ago and they had provided police with tips regarding the network.

The 15-year-old had fallen in love with Raja(24) who was from her village in Khargachi in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas. He had promised to marry her saying he worked at a big firm in the capital. “I was attracted by the way he carried himself and the promises he made,” she said. The girl said her father owned a small business and her mother was a housewife. They both trusted Raja and let her accompany him to Delhi. But Raja, who had trapped and trafficked at least 50 girls and women from the state, left her in the hands of the Gaurs in July and disappeared. Sapna would thrash her whenever she asked to go home. “You have been sold here and you cannot speak of it,” she said. She said that a few days later she was sent off to Meerut where she was sexually abused.

The other, 23-year-old, survivor came to Delhi after being promised work by a neighbour. She needed money to look after her son in Madhyamgram near Kolkata. Her husband had divorced her earlier this year.

Back home, Vasant Kunj maid dreams big in school

TIMES OF INDIA

NEW DELHI: The 18-year-old Santhal girl who was rescued from her woman employer’s house in Vasant Kunj in September is now studying in a residential school-cum-rehabilitation facility in Khutti, 30km from Ranchi in Jharkhand.

And she is not alone-the facility is also home to 25 other girls who were rescued from either Delhi or Mumbai where they used to work as domestic helps under inhuman conditions. This central government-sponsored Mahila Samakhya project now seeks to prevent human trafficking from Jharkhand.

The fear that had numbed the 18-year-old when she was found on September 30, 2013, has been replaced with a zeal for life. “Didi, I am in school and want to be a teacher,” she said over the phone before asking her friends to join her in humming a song composed by all of them to protest against trafficking from Jharkhand.

The lyrics, in the local dialect, appeals to the Jharkhand girls not to go with strangers to the big cities like Delhi and Mumbai for work and stay at home to get educated for a bright future. It tells the story of pain and sufferings inflicted by employers in the metros on these girls.

The girl has been enrolled into an adult literacy programme and also attending music classes, said Rishikant of Shakti Vahini, the NGO which was involved in the rescue of the Vasant Kunj maid and is following up on her rehabilitation. She wants to learn English, too.

Despite the trauma in the capital, she has kept her dream intact. Dressed in a bright blue salwar-kameez, she had waved from the Ranchi-bound Rajdhani on October 29, smiling warmly and assuring that she would be back in the capital as a schoolteacher.

Coming from Athganva village in Sahibganj district, she wants her former employer, Vandana Dhir, who used to be a senior executive with an MNC, to be punished. A trial court is now hearing the case.

The girl’s mother, a single parent of three daughters and two sons, had to send her eldest daughter to Delhi out of sheer desperation. The girl’s statement in the FIR, filed after her rescue, has made it clear that she had been assaulted with sticks, knives, brooms, a hot tawa and bare hands by her employer since June. Dhir had allegedly chopped off the girl’s hair and also kept her locked in a room.