Human trafficking racket busted in Manali, hotel owner,Tanzanian woman held

Saurabh Chauhan, Hindustan Times, Shimla:

Setting a trap, police had send some youth to the hotel as customers and they had confirmed about the reports being true
8b71d03c-a436-11e7-b007-413935cf253f

Representative Image

Kullu police busted the flesh trade racked in Manali, rescuing two foreigners besides arrested one Tanzania woman and a local hotelier here on Thursday.

A police team led by additional superintendent of police(ASP) Nischint Negi raided the hotel- Devbhoomi in Manali, after setting up a trap. Local hotelier, 59, and one Tanzanian woman,26, were arrested while two Tanzanian have been rescued from the hotel on Thursday morning.

The case has been registered under relevant sections of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act.  We are strengthening our network and the action will be taken against people involved in such crime

Sources said that there were reports that flesh trade was a common thing in the said hotel. Setting a trap, police had send some youth to the hotel as customers and they had confirmed about the reports being true. Then, the police trapped the hotel manager and other woman. The police later raided the hotel when two other foreign girls were present.

All three Tanzanian were a part of a group, which was on tourist visa. The police is suspecting more women of same group involved in similar crime. “It seems it is a gang. We are working on it,” a police officer said.

Kullu superintendent of police (SP) Shalini Agnihotri said, “ The case has been registered under relevant sections of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act.  “We are strengthening our network and the action will be taken against people involved in such crime.”

.

Special investigation team to probe human trafficking cases soon: Rekha Arya

Yogesh Kumar, TOI, DEHRADUN :

20092015-md-main-10-106671-1-small

Representative Image 

Cabinet minister for women and child developmentRekha Arya on Monday announced that the state government would set up SIT to probe human trafficking cases. Stressing on the need of a full-fledged SIT working 24X7 on human trafficking, she said, “The recent case show that US Nagar has emerged as a corridor and a SIT focusing on the larger trends and bursting the active gangs is the need of the hour.” The minister added that the CM has agreed to pass necessary directions to the police department for effective implementation

Human trafficking in the Northeast: a horrid truth that remains unacknowledged

HASINA KHARBHIH, 17 OCTOBER 2017, YourStory :

yourstory-human-trafficking

Representational Image: Shutterstock

India’s Northeast shares international borders with countries like China, Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal and Bhutan; it invariably becomes an easy passage for organised human trafficking. From the rat-hole miners of Jaintia Hills to the flesh trade in Silchar, Hasina Kharbhih shares the details of human trafficking in the Northeast. 

In the last three decades of dealing with human trafficking, I have realised that the problem of scores of youth and children getting trafficked across the border is society’s negligence to acknowledge what’s happening. Once we accept that there is rampant human trafficking from and to the Northeast of India, we’ll be able to decipher the cause that leads to it. The northeastern part of India has an acute shortage of employment opportunities for its rural populace. Due to this, many village children and youths are forced to seek employment that later proves hazardous to them.

Child trafficking

When Impulse NGO Network (INGON) first began working in the villages of Meghalaya, we discovered that a massive percentage of the rural children had gone missing. Deeper research revealed that due to lack of income sources, the villagers would send their children to do odd jobs like serving tea at tea stalls or run similar errands at token shops. Traffickers were taking this opportunity to lure these with promises of well-paid jobs and cross them over to other states, districts or countries with considerable ease.

Since India’s Northeast shares international borders (which are open and unmanned) with countries like China, Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal and Bhutan, it invariably becomes a Source, Transit and a Destination Point. These points provide an easy passage in and out of India for organised human trafficking syndicates to operate undetected.

Rat-hole miners

Our research found out that there is an acute demand for young children for coal mining in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills that engages slave child labour from Nepal and Bangladesh for low wages. Approximately 70,000 children, from Bangladesh, Nepal and Meghalaya’s villages are engaged in this dangerous enterprise without any threat of punishment or discovery. The reason why little children are employed in this business is technical. The mining here requires manual recovery of coal from the deepest recesses of the earth via tunnel-like passages. These are so narrow that it is traversable only by little children. Since the process resembles the scurrying of rats, it is called rat-hole mining.

I’ve discovered children as young as five, working in these mines. Desperate families are promised handsome salaries in exchange for their children’s work, but they often have no idea that their children will end up living in such dangerous conditions. Many families are still looking for their children. They haven’t heard from them for the last two or three years. Children have been dying in these rat holes and the dead bodies are not being taken back because it’s not possible to get them out. They are not even being reported because, in the context of our state, they’re illegal migrants.

When INGON learnt about this, we sent a press release to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) for global advocacy on children trafficked to the coal mines. With the help of Global Development Network (GDN), INGON also transformed this research for media advocacy, which gathered massive national and international media attention and influenced the powers-that-be, to address the issue. Consequently, INGON managed to rescue about 1,200 children from these mines. Later, though, we learnt that the rescued children were getting replaced with new recruits. So, INGON was compelled to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the National Green Tribunal, which finally effected a directive passed on April 17, 2014, banning rat-hole mining in the state of Meghalaya; an effort for which I received the CNN-IBN India Positive Award.

Domestic help

We’ve even found children migrating to the neighbouring state of Nagaland and working as domestic help in the homes of government officials. While the employers say that they’re paying and treating them well, child labour is still a criminal offence. We can keep rescuing children, but unless the government makes a considerable effort to educate and empower them, the problem will continue to persist.

Youth trafficking

We have also noticed a huge demand for young girls from the Northeast for job opportunities within India and Southeast Asia. Lured by unauthorised recruiting agencies, these girls are either coerced into the commercial sex trade or domestic work.

Flesh Trade

Across the border:

While all other borders that North East India shares with its neighbours are equally feasible for this market, the trend of trafficking girls through Myanmar started nearly a year ago.

Last year, six girls from Mizoram, who were being taken to a neighbouring country, were rescued. The destination points are usually Singapore and Malaysia. Recently, eight Manipuri girls, who were being trafficked to Singapore by members of an international gang, were rescued in Myanmar. Due to their government’s adoption of the Impulse Model, our team in Myanmar coordinated the rescue of the girls from a room on the fifth floor of a Yangon hotel and took care of their stay, legal processes, counselling, and repatriation. We used a combined expertise to rescue the girls and then take care of them all the way via Kolkata till they reached Manipur by September 30, 2017.

At home:

While young women are trafficked for an offshore market, they do have a huge demand in the domestic flesh trade business too. A very audacious example is the organised red-light area in the heart of Silchar town, the headquarters of Cachar district, Assam. According to Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA), 1956, a prostitution centre cannot exist in a public place, but Silchar is an exception. I was present with police during one of the raids at the Silchar brothel in 2016. I was surprised how the local people never raised their voice over the matter, due to which the brothel has not been evicted till date. Fresh girls are brought from different states and sold in the brothel on a frequent basis. These girls have to be given an alternate source of income before the plan of eviction is implemented.

For marriage

Another worrying factor is the demand for brides in the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, which have a poor sex ratio. Our research has found that young girls are trafficked from Assam often to be forcibly married off to men in those states.

Ways to ward off

I have always believed in one thing. If there is a problem, there has to be a solution.

Impulse Model

As one of the pioneers in addressing issues of human trafficking in the Northeast, having no precedent whatsoever, I realised that we had to have a method and it could not afford to have only one or a few players to fight for it. So, my team and I developed a model that includes all possible departments, directly or indirectly involved with the rescue of trafficked people. This became the Impulse Model.

The Impulse Model runs on the anvil of 6Ps – Partnership, Prevention, Protection, Policing, Press and Prosecution, and 6Rs – Reporting, Rescue, Rehabilitation, Repatriation, Re-integration and Re-compensation, influencing the various stakeholders of society into action. Its advantage is that all stakeholders can share their best practices and collaborate to implement across the border, engaging in a multilateral agreement across the South-East Asia. After being adopted by neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal and replicated by all Northeast Indian states, the Model is under review for national application across India.

Entrepreneurship

The victimization of young women and children will continue even after we rescue them if we don’t have a backup plan. Impulse NGO Network works toward providing a global market to domestic weavers in the villages of the Northeast so that they can yield a steady income and profit by doing what they do best – weaving and craft-making. This is an entrepreneurship opportunity that somewhat arrests the possibility of precarious employment and gives a respite to the prevailing lack of jobs.

 

Udham Singh Nagar emerges as major corridor for human trafficking from Nepal

Abhinav Madhwal, Hindustan Times, DEHRADUN :

The Udham Singh Nagar police on Saturday arrested three people, including a woman from a bus terminus in the city and rescued six women who were being trafficked to the Gulf nations to work as domestic help, police said.

the-accused-sunday-the-police-custody-on_0a39f9bc-b73d-11e7-8b25-96a837358dfc

The three arrested people, including a woman, is presented before the media on Sunday (HT Photo)

The rescued women are Nepal national who had come from Tanakpur city in Champawat district bordering Nepal and were being taken to Delhi by the alleged traffickers, said senior superintendent of police (SSP) Udham Singh Nagar Sadanad Date. The vigil along the border with Nepal had been beefed up, he said.

“We have asked the anti-human trafficking cell officials to talk to girls who cross over into India from Nepal to find out if they are being trafficked by checking their antecedents.” The SSP further said that the local intelligence units have also been asked to step up vigil.

This is not the first time such a cross-border trafficking case has come to light. Women and minor children have been trafficked from the state earlier.

Three months back, a man was arrested at the Banbasa check post for trafficking three minor children to Delhi to work as domestic help. I

n June, police rescued 16 Nepalese women from the Indo-Nepal border near Chandi village while they were being trafficked to India.

The Uttarakhand police say they are aware of trafficking and have set up three anti-human trafficking cells in Kumaon region of the state in Champawat, Haldwani and Pithoragarh districts.

There has been a spike in cross-border trafficking following the April 2015 earthquake that devastated Nepal and left thousands of women and minors– most of whom were girls– vulnerable to trafficking. Thousands of children in dire poverty, particularly those living in Nepal’s border districts, are trafficked to India every year, said activists.

Most of the trafficked women and girls from Nepal end up as domestic help or as sex slaves in Indian metros like Delhi or taken to the Gulf nations on Nepalese passports, some of them said.

Gyanendra Kumar at “Empowering People Society”, an NGO, said they have been telling the state police about Udham Singh Nagar becoming a major corridor in the cross-border human trafficking from Nepal. “Interior areas like Sindhupalchowk district in northern Nepal–one of the worst-affected districts in the 2015 earthquake– are the major sources areas of modern-day slavery,” he said.

“Women and minor girls are brought to Banbasa border from where they are made to cross the border and taken to Delhi. Traffickers keep changing transit routes to evade arrest.”

Impoverished Nepalese girls are lured with promise of good jobs, unaware of what misery awaits them once they land in the Gulf nations, said Kumar. “There is a charm of working in the Gulf countries and the impoverished parents are lured with promises of good jobs for their daughters.

“Once the parents are convinced by traffickers, most of who are fellow villagers or acquaintances, the girls are trafficked to Southeast Asia and the Middle East,” he said.

Deputy inspector general of police (Kumaon range) Puran Singh says that strict instructions have been given to the police to check human trafficking from Nepal and utmost vigil was being maintained. .

Mumbai child-trafficking racket: Police suspect accused could be an agent

Jayprakash S Naidu , Hindustan Times, Mumbai shadow-abuse-holding-background-black-imprisoned-retarded_1791dccc-b9b5-11e7-970b-e502f534a12e

Police suspect that the 52-year-old man, who was arrested on Tuesday for trafficking minor boys and girls to various countries, may be an agent in a big racket.

The Sahar police officials investigating the international racket said they are probing the possibility that accused Hemang Modi, 52, could be an agent, who was taking children abroad to their kin who may have moved to foreign countries legally or illegally.

A police official said, “Around 17 minor boys and girls have been sent to another country by the arrested accused and his wife Harsha, 41. Till now, we do not know the identity of the children.”

“Another possibility apart from human trafficking could be that Modi is an agent. There are several instances where one member of a family goes abroad legally or illegally and it becomes difficult for them to take the other family members. So they use agents or carriers to get their family members, including minors, abroad,” added the police official.

Hemang Modi and Harsha had trafficked at least 17 minor boys and girls to various countries since 2015, said police officers at Sahar police station where an FIR was registered.

Modi was produced before a local court and remanded in custody till October 30, while his wife is still wanted in the case. Apart from Modi’s wife, Sahar police officers said initial interrogations indicate the involvement of at least five other people. The officials suspect this could be just the tip of an international racket spread across countries like the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and Germany.

The Modis, who reside in Borivli (East), came under the scanner after immigration officials found Harsha’s passport had been used by four different women to go abroad.Harsha also used the same passport to make foreign trips, the police said.

They learnt Harsha and the four women took a boy and a girl abroad with them on every trip. These trips were taken between 2015 and 2016. The four women and the trafficked children have not returned to Mumbai till date. the police said.

The police also found that on some trips, Hemang and Harsha passed of the trafficked boys and girls as their own children. They also managed to get fake Indian passports for these children.

The accused have made trips to United Kingdom and European countries like France, Switzerland and Germany, the police said. It is not clear where these children were born and how the couple found them, the police said.

Odisha announces Rs 134 crore anti-migration package

M_Id_451072_Odisha

Reported in India Today

Bhubaneswar, Oct 25 (PTI) The Odisha government today announced a special package of Rs 134 crore to check illegal migration and human trafficking practices in Bolangir and Nuapada districts.

The package was announced for 30 gram panchayats of the two districts that have seen migration in large numbers in the recent past, Odishas Labour and Employment Minister Sushant Singh said after a review meeting at Bolangir.

“The programme intends to stop illegal migration of poor people to other states and abroad. Those vulnerable (to migration) will be rehabilitated under the programme,” Singh said, adding that financial assistance would be doled out in phases.

Stating that Bolangir and Nuapada were adopted as model districts for the first phase of the programme, Singh said a blueprint was also prepared at the meeting to chart out a future course of action to stop the menace.

“The programme would be taken to other districts if the first phase is successful,” said the minister.

Balangir, Nuapada, Sonepur, Bargarh and Kalahandi are among 15 districts declared “drought-hit” by the government during this kharif season. PTI AAM RMS