Posts by NNLRJ INDIA

NATIONAL NETWORK OF LAWYERS FOR RIGHTS AND JUSTICE (NNLRJ) is a law initiative of Shakti Vahini

Battered and bruised, some return, some are never to be seen again..

180777_10150095433357197_5102103_nBy N Sai Published in the DNA News

In the last of the three-part series, dna travels to remote villages of India’s ‘slavery belt’, some of the remotest and backward areas of Jharkhand. Rescued slaves and the parents of those who have never come back reveal what makes these tribals easy targets

Ranchi: The road to Jahupkokotoli village in the Maoist-hit district of Gumla is a contradiction of sorts. As the two-lane road snakes through the forests and rolling hills of the Chottanagpur plateau, bauxite-laden trucks are the only constant reminder of activity here. Yet the public transport to this part of Jharkhand from the state capital Ranchi is rickety. The only bus everyday is as uncertain as life in this extremely backward region of India. Despite the lack of public transport, thousands of tribal boys and girls from Gumla-Khunti-Simdega region, India’s unofficial ‘slavery belt’, are transported and trafficked to upper middle class and rich homes of Delhi. After a period of enslavement and unpaid forced labour, many return battered and bruised. Some are never to be seen again. Some still carry on.

In Jahupkokotoli, an aboriginal hamlet of 160 Oraon tribal families, 45-year-old Mathoo comes running with a picture of his 14-year-old daughter. “Help me find her. I haven’t seen her after she went away in 2007,” says Mathoo. His daughter would be 21 now, but Mathoo doesn’t know her fate after she was taken by a ‘placement agent’ from a neighbouring village to Delhi to work as a domestic help. Within two months, the agent sent Mathoo Rs 1000 as a payment for his daughter’s ‘services’. Next year, he called up the agent again to inquire about his daughter. “The agent said that my daughter had run away and that he did not know her whereabouts. I do not know whether she is dead or alive,” says Mathoo.

A few houses away from Mathoo’s is the hut of Hari Oraon. His 16-year-old daughter Pramila was taken by an agent to Delhi in early 2014. But she ‘escaped’ within four months and came back. According to her statement to police, Pramila was taken to Delhi by another woman of the same village in the promise of a better life. As soon as she arrived in Delhi she was escorted to a Shakurpur-based placement agency by an agent. They took her finger prints on a piece of paper and sent her to work as a domestic maid at three different homes in Delhi. Facing ill-treatment and not having been paid by any of her employers or the placement agency, Pramila escaped. Lost on the streets in Delhi, she begged another woman to take her home. The woman instead handed her over to the Delhi police. The Delhi police handed her over to a shelter home in the capital from where she was taken to Kishori Niketan, a rehab centre for trafficked women in Bijupara, Jharkhand. Finally in April 2014, she was re-united with her family. For her work as a domestic help in Delhi, Pramila wasn’t paid any money. “The police left her in nearby Bishunpur from where we picked her up and got her home,” says Hari Oraon. “She says she will never go back to Delhi.”

Off the road from Bishunpur lies the Dalit village of Hadiya Toli, literally translating into ‘wine village’. There is no road connectivity to the village and reaching here requires walking a kilometre on a dusty track. The name of 15-year-old Sarita alias Budhni evinces a peculiar response from the village men. “That Dilli-return?”, one asks with a wry smile. “Who knows where she is,” says another. “Ask her mother. She might know.” We find her mother working outside her hut and as the conversation about her daughter nears completion, she says, “Who will marry her now? Who knows what might have happened to her in Delhi?”

Sarita disappeared from her house in 2013 with five other girls after an agent in her village promised her lucrative money in Delhi. Sarita says, “I was promised a monthly wage of Rs 5000. After working four months for an agency in Motinagar in Delhi, I asked for some money. They refused and locked me up instead. I begged to let me go home. But they said I cannot go home before I completed five years. Then one day the police raided the place and they took me in their custody,” says Sarita. She was finally sent home in April 2013.

“There were other girls in that house. I do not know what happened to them. I did not even get the money for my work,” says Sarita. When asked about the nature of her work, Sarita maintains an uneasy silence. Sarita is lucky enough to be back in her village. Even though her village doesn’t have either electricity, drinking water supply or roads, she feels safer here than in any of Delhi’s slave holes.

Phulin Murmu, 18, however doesn’t want to return to her village. Phulin Murmu is not a name that would ring a bell. But when she was found burnt, battered and bitten in a house in South Delhi’s posh Vasant Kunj locality it made national headlines in October 2013. She was found in the house of Vandana Dhir, an executive with a French multinational. Murmu’s body bore hot girdle-induced burn marks, deep scars on the head and bite marks all over her body. She was forced to drink urine, prevented from using the bathroom and confined in the house in a semi-naked condition before being rescued. She was working unpaid for two years before being rescued.

DNA tracked her down at a rehabilitation centre in Khunti, one of the hardest hit districts of the slavery belt. She is being educated and trained at the Mahilya Samkhya Society, which she shares with around 30 other minor girls, many of whom are rescued slaves. Phulin can barely write her name, the scars still show on her face. But she details her three years of enslavement with a brave face and with no emotion. “It is for the first time that I am seeing her talk so openly. It seems she is recovering well from the trauma,” says Asha Kusum, the warden of the institution. The Mahilya Samkhya Society is wary of letting Phulin rejoin her parents in her village. They ask her father to come to town for Christmas. They don’t want to take a chance again. “Most kids are from extremely poor tribal families. Their parents will send them to Delhi for any small amount. Phulin is safe here – from poverty and from agents who would want to prey on her again. She is still scared inside. She will only get better,” says Ms Kusum

After Delhi, Haryana new traffickers’ den

BY KELLY KISLAYA PUBLISHED IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

Ranchi: The recent arrest of two traffickers have alerted the other human flesh traders in the state who are now shifting their base from posh areas of Delhi to its suburbs, especially Haryana.

In just a week, eight persons, including a woman who is reportedly an associate of trafficking kingpin Pannalal Mahato who would traffic girls to Haryana, have been arrested in Jharkhand

Various NGOs fighting against trafficking in both Delhi and Jharkhand claim that the arrest of Mahato, Baba Bamdev and other wanted traffickers has exposed their network and laid bare their modus operandi. As a result, the traffickers are now shying away from taking the girls to the national capital and shifting to its nearby areas.

Rishi Kant of Delhi-based NGO Shakti Vahini said, “The arrest of Mahato has instilled fear in his associates, who are now operating from suburbs like Faridabad, Gurgaon, Karnal extending up to Jaipur.”

Khunti SP Anish Gupta said now that the associates of Mahato and Bamdev are being identified, there is a fear among traffickers. “Also, parents who were afraid to inform police about their missing children earlier, are now coming forward so we are able to take action.”

On January 22, five men from Haryana namely Vijay Pal, Karan Pal, Vijay Singh, Suresh Kumar and Ramanand Sharma, were arrested by the Koderma district police for trying to convince the parents of a seven-year-old girl to marry her to one of them.

Naushad Alam, subdivisional police officer (SDPO), Koderma said, “The five men were brought to Koderma by two brothers — Mohd Mahtab and Amjad Ali — from Koderma. Mahtab lives in Haryana and Amjad in Koderma.

The job of Amjad was to identify poor families with unmarried daughters and Mahtab used to fix their clients in Haryana.”

Mahtab along with the five men of Haryana arrived at Domchach village of Koderma and were trying to convince parents of the minor to get their girl married to one of them when the locals saw outsiders and informed the police.

“After his arrest, Mahtab revealed that in the past he had worked with Mahato and used to supply girls to him. We got to know that he will be paid Rs 80,000 for the ‘deal’ which included the expenses of wedding to be given to the girl’s parents,” said Alam.

He added, “As the sex-ratio of Haryana is very low, girls from Jharkhand are being sold there for marriage. It is becoming one of the favourite business places for the traffickers after Delhi.”

नाबालिग को शादी का झांसा देकर ले जाने के आरोप में आठ गिरफ्तार

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PUBLISHED IN DAINIK JAGRAN

कोडरमा: एक ओर प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी हरियाणा के पानीपत में बेटी बचाओ, बेटी पढ़ाओ अभियान की शुरुआत कर रहे थे, दूसरी तरफ मानव तस्करी के उद्देश्य से कोडरमा सुदूरवर्ती ग्रामीण क्षेत्र की एक नाबालिग बेटी को शादी का झांसा देकर हरियाणा के एक अधेड़ उम्र के युवक ले जाने आया थे। पुलिस ने दूल्हा समेत इस मामले में लिप्त कुल आठ लोगों को गुरुवार को गिरफ्तार कर जेल भेज दिया।

गिरफ्तार लोगों में हरियाणा के गंगाचाप रेवाड़ी निवासी विजय पाल, करमपाल (दोनों पिता छोटू राम) विजय सिंह, पिता महाबीर सिंह, सुरेश कुमार, पिता तलवीर सिंह, रामानंद शर्मा, पिता ईश्वर लाल, मुनिया मसोमात पति स्व. सिराज डोमचांच, मो. महताब व मो. अमजद अली (दोनों पिता जलालुद्दीन तारानाखो राजधनवार, गिरिडीह) शामिल हैं। इसे लेकर आरोपियों के विरुद्ध डोमचांच थाना में मानव व्यापार अधिनियम के तहत मामला दर्ज किया गया है। पुलिस के अनुसार डोमचांच थाना अंतर्गत पंचगांवा की रहनेवाली एक गरीब परिवार की नाबालिग लड़की से शादी करने के नाम पर उसे ले जाने की तैयारी चल रही थी। इसी दौरान ग्रामीणों ने पुलिस को सूचना दी। डोमचांच पुलिस ने तत्परता दिखाते हुए मौके पर पहुंच कर सभी आरोपियों को गिरफ्तार कर लिया। आरोपियों ने बताया कि वे लोग पांच दिन पूर्व यहां शादी करने के लिए आए थे।

सातवीं की है छात्रा

कोडरमा: जिस लड़की से शादी कर ले जाने आए थे वह लड़की सातवीं कक्षा की छात्रा है। लड़की ने बताया कि वह अभी पढ़ना चाहती है। लड़की की मां ने बताया कि बगल की एक महिला ने आकर कहा कि बेटी की शादी करोगी । गरीबी एवं लड़की के पिता की मानसिक स्थिति ठीक नहीं होने के कारण हमने हां कर दी। उन्होंने कहा कि इससे पूर्व भी डोमचांच क्षेत्र से तीन-चार लड़कियों को हरियाणा शादी के नाम पर ले जाया गया है।

मामले को महिला सीआईडी को भेजा जायेगा: एसपी

कोडरमा: कोडरमा एसपी संगीता कुमारी ने इस मामले को गंभीरता से लेते हुए कहा कि आरोपियों पर सख्त कार्रवाई की जाएगी। इस मामले को अपराध अनुसंधान शाखा के पास भेजा जायेगा। उन्होंने कहा कि उक्त लड़की की कस्तूरबा गांधी स्कूल में नामांकन कराकर आगे पढ़ने की व्यवस्था की जाएगी।

Up to 8,000 Nepali girls trafficked to Dubai

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NEW DELHI: A multi-agency international operation, led by Central Bureau of Investigation, has stumbled upon an organized racket of trafficking of young Nepalese girls to Dubai for alleged prostitution and Delhi’s IGI airport is the transit point for their travelling to the gulf country.

The investigation has revealed that nearly 6000-8000 Nepalese girls aged between 20 to 30 years have been trafficked to Dubai via Delhi till December 2014.

The agency has informed the ministry of external affairs, ministry of home affairs, bureau of immigration and Nepal authorities through Interpol about the organized syndicate, which sends the girls on tourist visas.

The sources said during the inquiry which was being covertly conducted by the agency, probe officers collected information from Foreign Regional Registration Office, Air India, Qatar Airways, Bureau of Immigration and 15 travel agents based in Delhi.

Giving details of modus operandi of the alleged trafficking, a senior agency official said, the girls are booked with tickets, provided visa and hotel reservation in Nairobi via Dubai for tourist purposes but when they land in Dubai, their tickets for Nairobi and hotel bookings are cancelled.

The girls also carry with them ‘Paper Visa’ to work in Dubai which they keep hidden with them. Once the tickets are cancelled in Dubai, they go to their agents there, stay for two-three months and come back, the official claimed.

When asked about Nairobi connection when they can easily go to Dubai and come back as they have valid documents, the official said there could be many reasons–the Nepalese officials seek details of employer and nature of work and prostitution is never encouraged, girl going to Dubai for work is a social stigma among others.

The sources said after getting a tip-off, agency had carried out a surprise check which revealed that 76 girls were travelling to Nairobi via Dubai on an Air India flight in July 2014 after which records of such travels were checked.

“We could not take any action as all the documents were found proper,” an official said.

The official said that agency has written to MEA, MHA and other concerned authorities to look into the issue and plug the loop holes in the immigration system which is exploited by the agents to supply girls to gulf countries.

It is very difficult to know if the person has completed his journey as per the travel itinerary specially on a paper visa, the official said adding that there were other loop holes also which have been flagged in the correspondence to the MEA and MHA, which controls the Bureau of Immigration.

“We found that Indira Gandhi International Airport has emerged as a major transit point for alleged prostitution rackets supplying girls to gulf countries through such channels. We estimate about 6000-8000 girls being trafficked in such a manner till December alone. We have asked the MEA to look whether Indian girls or the girls of other SAARC countries are also sent in this manner,” the official said.

The marriage bazaar: How female foeticide has made bride trade a roaring business

DANISH RAZA IN THE HINDUSTAN TIMES

They talk about her in whispers. “Don’t tell her that I gave you directions to her house,” a local woman warns this reporter as she points out the two-storey house of Kamla, notorious in her neighbourhood, an upmarket residential colony in Haryana’s Jind district, for purchasing brides from distant states for the local bachelors in the region. Kamla is courteous but wary. She is plump and short. Dressed in a purple salwar-kameez and black overcoat, she asks her family members to leave the room while she talks to us. When she begins to speak, she gives us an unnerving stare. “Who told you that I arrange such marriages?”she inquires, rolling her eyes.

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The trade in brides is flourishing in north-west India. Skewed child sex ratios, and a decrease in the size of land holdings per family has meant that local men are hardly seen as good matches here. They are then forced to look for options, outside the state. Women such as Kamla network with brokers and agents in different states to cater to the demand for brides.

“The problem is so acute that those demanding reservation in government jobs for the predominant Jat community in Haryana tell their followers that without jobs, they will stay unmarried,”says Savita Bairwal, state joint secretary, All India Democratic Women’s Association. According to UNICEF, 80% of districts in India have recorded a declining sex ratio since 1991. ‘Despite these horrific numbers, foetal sex determination and sex selective abortions by unethical medical professionals has today grown into a Rs. 1,000 crore industry,’ notes the agency.

While campaigning for the latest assembly polls in Haryana, BJP leader OP Dhankar said at a rally in Jind that if voted to power, he would bring brides from Bihar for men in the state who are unable to find a suitable match. “Making the BJP strong also means that youths who are roaming without brides will get one,” he said.

Posing as a broker for families seeking wives for their sons, we met with four such traffickers in the Jind and Hisar districts of Haryana to understand the scale, the modus operandi and the money involved in the business of brides.

While some operate in the garb of registered marriage bureaus, most of them are discreet and run their business on word of mouth. They talk business strictly to people within their network.

Most of the deals are done over the phone along with regular visits to source areas in states such as Assam, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Nepal. They charge around Rs. 50,000 to two lakh depending on the girl’s age and features. The money is divided among the middlemen between source and destination.

Depending on the risks involved, you can get a girl with all her documents in place or none at all and then decide if you would want to continue the marriage. Or sell her.

‘options are many’

Around 13 years ago, Balram, who goes by his first name, visited Tripura’s capital, Agartala, with one of his friends in Dabra village, Hisar. He got married there and since then, has made 50 odd trips to the north eastern state with his wife, Tanuja.

“I have brought 104 girls from Tripura in the past 12 years,” claims Balraj, adding, “Tell me whenever you want to visit. There will be 20-25 girls sitting in a room. You will have many options to choose from.”

Tanuja, a class eight-pass-out, now in her late 30s, handles their business and all its nitty-gritties, attending to customers in Haryana, exchanging phone numbers, maintaining a strong network with agents in the source region and arranging for their travel.

The couple’s estimate is that traffickers have brought around 5,000 girls from Tripura to Haryana and adjoining Punjab. “We are not the only ones doing it. Like my wife, there are numerous women who buy brides from their native states,” he says.

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The return journey to Tripura will take a week and we will have to bear all the expenses, says Tanuja. “The girls’ families are so poor that they will not be able to host you properly. You will have to bear the expenses of your stay there,” she tells us.

The couple also source girls from Tezpur, Assam. They show us a girl from Tezpur. She has been living with them for around 15 days. “Look at her and let us know if you have a prospective groom for her,” he says.

He does not discuss money with us; not even a rough estimate. For him to tell us rates, he says, we will first have to show him the men who we represent, to strike the deal.

‘there will be a proper marriage ceremony’

Doh number kee bahut hain…jitni chahe le le (There are many fakes here….take as many girls as you want),” says Ajay, a bride- trafficker in Jind’s Malsari Kheda village, referring to girls who run away within a couple of days of getting married. “If you want one actually for marriage, you will have to give me time,” says Ajay, who sources girls from Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh), Bihar and adjoining state of Jharkhand.

He is upset as one of his main suppliers of brides- a women broker in Panipat with contacts in Bihar’s Gaya district- has quit the trade. Yet, he tries his luck and makes a phone call to her and asks her to give it a second thought. She does not budge and hangs up on him.

His other source, an agent in Ghaziabad, has hiked his rates. The last time Ajay spoke with him, he says, he demanded Rs. 1.5 lakh. “What will I earn if I give him that much? Greed has screwed his brain,” fumes Ajay.

We are told that at least five bride- traffickers are active in this part of Haryana. Each of them source potential brides from different states so that there is no competition. Dharamveer deals in girls from Uttarakhand, Inder Singh procures them from Assam and Radhe Shyam has a solid network in Jharkhand.

“This is why you will find roughly 20 to 50 such girls from almost every neighboring village,” says a villager who did not want to be named.

Currently, Ajay’s only source in the region is a headmaster in a government school in the nearby village. “A Bihari girl will cost you Rs. 70,000. You will have to pay almost double the price for a girl from Himachal Pradesh,” says Ajay.

Despite making more than ten visits to Bihar, Ajay says, he would not want to deal directly with families who sell off their girls to fight poverty. “The day I try to bypass brokers, they will stop my access and ensure that I stop getting girls,” he says. Also, sourcing brides through agents is safer because the agents take care of all legal issues bound to arise in the source area. “That is the best part. There will be a proper marriage ceremony as per your religion,” he says.

‘my trade is bound to thrive’

Subhash, a 35 year-old wrestling enthusiast in Kaimri, a hamlet in Hisar, says it’s not about the money. He runs a flour mill and a grocery shop in the neighbourhood. The rear entrance of his mud house overlooks his farm-land. “I have everything by God’s grace,” he says. Around 12 years ago, he  was diagnosed with diabetes and has been grappling with weight loss since then. “I don’t travel a lot now,” he says. To add to his income, Subhash developed, what he calls a ‘side business’.

“How many girls do you want? I have ‘clean’, unmarried girls from Assam and Chhattisgarh. They are from poor families. You will have to pay them money. I will take my share too. This is how it works,” explains Subhash, who fits into one’s stereotype of a man from rural Haryana – tall, well-built and ear-ringed.

Assamese girls, he says, find it difficult to adjust in Haryana as they face language issues. As alternatives, he suggests girls from Rajasthan’s Alwar district, Lucknow and Ghaziabad.

Noticing that Subhash is opening up to us in the very first meeting, his wife interrupts saying he just facilitates marriages and does not trade in girls.

Subhash shuts her up and asks her to attend to household chores.

When we stress on fair complexion and ‘pretty’ features, he mentions Nepal. “We have the most beautiful kids. They are up for grabs,” he says. Regarding the costs involved, Subhash says it all depends on the situation when the deal is struck. “It all happens within minutes,” he says.

To keep the police at bay, traders have started getting such marriages registered in courts. It is not a pre-condition though. “You can take the girl’s thumb impression on a blank paper,” he says with a shrug.

Subhash says his trade is only going to flourish in the years to come as land holdings will keep multiplying and boys here find it extremely difficult to get married if they don’t have enough land. The only option before them is to get girls from outside. “The breed which we get from such alliances will not be good. But if start saying no to girls from outside, all our boys will remain bachelors. Therefore, we cannot help it,” says Subhash.

‘the returns have to be really good’

Kamla wants to take over the business from her boss, Pandey ji. A resident of Panipat district, he has been arranging girls for her for the past seven years. “If a deal is done in Rs. 1 lakh, he takes Rs. 70,000. Saara paisa wahi khaa leta hai (he takes the major chunk of the profit),” cusses Kamla.

Through him, she is in touch with brokers dealing in girls from Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh) and Himachal Pradesh. One has to travel to these states to get brides she says. “If you want to see the girls here in Haryana or Delhi, it will cost Rs. 10,000 extra. And if, on the way there is a police case, you will have to pay for that too.”

The morning we met her, Kamla had returned from her five-day visit to Himachal Pradesh.  But she says she operates through the phone and does not travel. She has another office in Faridabad, one of the satellite towns in the National Capital Region, adjoining Delhi.

She dials Pandey ji’s  number and insists we talk to him for clarity. “System samajh yaar (Understand the system, dear)” she says. He is busy and asks her to call later in the day. She wouldn’t mind the easy money and asks us for business ideas which she could explore. “Do not worry about the police and civic agencies. I have my people in all those offices. That’s not an issue. But the returns have to be really good,” she says.

We wind up soon as she is late for an appointment.

Before that, she asks us for the second time if we are really meeting her with the purpose of buying brides and wants to be sure that its not a trap. “Tum CID waaley toh nahi ho na? (you people are not from the CID, right?),” she says.

When convinced, she makes us an offer. “I have two girls from Chhattisgarh  here in Rohtak for the past one week. Let me know if you want to get it done in a day or two,” she says.

Kamla claims to know almost all major traffickers in Haryana and Punjab. She wants us to be cautious about them and is eager to know who all we met in Jind and elsewhere. She tips us off about a Hisar fixer who, she says, is a fraudster. “There are all kinds of people in this business. I am telling you as a well-wisher,” she says.

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THE PICTURE AND THE STORY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE HINDUSTAN TIMES DATED 28/12/2014.

Chhattisgarh’s own ‘Mardani’ police officer who bust child trafficking rings in Delhi

mallikaBY RASHMI DROLIA PUBLISHED IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

RAIPUR: She may not be a decorated encounter cop or a trained undercover agent, but she displayed unusual grit and gumption to bust organised trafficking rings at vulnerable patches of Delhi to earn the sobriquet of Chhattisgarh’s ‘Mardani’. After nabbing 15 traffickers and rescuing 20 missing children from Delhi’s hellholes, she’s become a blockbuster star in the state.

In a cat-and-mouse chase with entrenched child traffickers and prostitution kingpins, it was a mindboggling race through maze of accomplices for sub-inspector Mallika Banerjee of the anti-human trafficking cell. And she played a role of a super cop in a bigger-than-life rerun of the Bollywood thriller Mardani in real life.

Disguised as salesgirl, selling body massagers on the street, facing life threats and spurning big bribe money to withdraw investigation, SI Mallika Banerjee, 30, struggled to meet Supreme Court deadline to trace missing children. When she began her Mission Delhi, she only had a tip-off. She shares with TOI how a small rescue operation turned into a month-long gruelling mission.

Mission Delhi

“On reaching Delhi on November 13 with a five-member team, I had to raid placement agencies of Nirmala and Guddu at Motinagar and Shakurpur. As it was part of protocol to conduct simultaneous raids, we needed to do recce, gather intelligence and keep vigil outside their offices,” Mallika said.

Meanwhile, kingpin Guddu got a wind of raids and released two kids of Bagbahar region and sent them back with four agents. She suspected involvement of Delhi police for tipping off Guddu on raids. But Mallika was constantly keeping watch and kept Jashpur SP, Jitendra Meena in the loop. “We rescued two kids and arrested four agents from a train on Ambikapur-Sitapur stretch.”

While Nirmala was an easy catch, documents seized from her office revealed that children were sold for Rs 30000-35000 with monthly fixed payment of Rs 5000.

Guddu’s Arrest

From Guddu’s office, Mallika rescued a 12-year-old girl of Jharkhand who was locked in a dank room. Surveillance of Guddu’s phone showed he was in Champaran in Bihar. He had wriggled out of clutches of police .

“It was 12.40 am when I received an anonymous threat call, asking me to leave Delhi. ‘Madam, aap muje nahi jante, meri pahunch mantriyon tak hai. Mahila ho, nikal lo, warna aapke saath kya hoga aap soch nahi sakti’ (You have no idea I am in touch with influential persons and politicians, better leave the place or be ready for the worst),” the caller said.

Mallika was unfazed, persistent. She called Guddu again and finally the call went through. She persuaded him to meet her and help find few missing children, assuring him he won’t be touched. Guddu returned from his Bihar hideout and called her. They were to meet at a parking lot at Daryaganj.

Mallika’s team was prepared in civil dress when Guddu’s aide approached Mallika and said “Guddu is innocent, stop chasing him.” Guddu suddenly appeared from shadows with a cash-loaded briefcase and offered Rs 10 lakh. “Take this and leave. I will handle other senior officers,” Guddu told Mallika. The cops in civvies pounced upon him and arrested him. Guddu had been trafficking children from several states since 2001.

Sales Girl Disguise

Hunting down Hamida, another trafficker, was the toughest. Mallika disguised as a sales girl, sold body massagers at Aman Vihar area for five days. She gathered inputs from households and finally zeroed in on Hamida’s hideout.

“I made excuses, asked for water to get inside her home and arrested her with documents of girls trafficked. Several arrests followed,” said Mallika. It was first experience for this woman officer in tough situations, saying she suddenly felt more connected to those innocent kids.

Jashpur superintendent of police Jitendra Meena said, “Meticulous planning, multiple recces and technical support were required. The operation was closely monitored by us and every success boosted team’s confidence.”

Delhi based NGO Shakti Vahini that supported the mission right from first day said, “AHTU in Chhattisgarh led by ADG Rajeev Srivastava and OSD PN Tiwari certainly create a forward impact on action against child trafficking, as they assure proper training to officials like Mallika who perform courageously even in odd situations.”

BANGLADESH MINOR AMONG TWO RESCUED IN FARIDABAD

Bangladesh CaseTribune News Service Faridabad, December 5

Two minor girls reportedly brought to Faridabad some days ago and allegedly sold for Rs 30,000 to a resident as domestic helpers have been rescued. The girls, one of whom is a Bangladeshi national and the other is from West Bengal, have been lodged at a protection home.The girls, aged around 14 years, were allegedly sold as housemaids by a trafficker to the owner of a house in sector 16 here recently. They managed to escape from the house on Wednesday night.

While they reportedly tried to hide behind a vehicle parked near the main market, taxi driver Raju spotted them and asked them about their identity. Raju informed NGO Shakti Vahini whose representatives took the girls to the police station where their statement was recorded. While one of them said she was brought here from West Bengal’s 24 Parganas district on the promise of suitable employment, the other was from a village near the Bangladesh border.

Her exact address is yet to be ascertained.“We have traced the parents of the girl who is from West Bengal and have asked them to come here to get their daughter’s custody,” said Rishikant of Shakti Vahini. Stating that Childline, another NGO, had also played a vital role in the girls’ rescue, he said both would stay at a protection home till their repatriation.

A medical test has been ordered to detect the correct age of both girls. The district child welfare committee has asked the police to lodge a FIR.Though this is perhaps the first such case this year in the district, two victims of trafficking – including a 10-year-old girl — were rescued from Rohtak and Faridabad last December. At least four other trafficked victims were rescued from other parts of the state in the past year.