Police Raid Brothel, Find Man’s Skeleton Dumped By Racket Queen 13 Years Ago

The police arrested the woman, Sarita Bharti, 37, under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act for running a prostitution racket, and rescued four women on December 4 from her house in Dandipada in Boisar

The police in Maharashtra’s Boisar have recovered the skeleton of a man from a water closet (WC) inside a brothel owned by a woman.

Deputy superintendent of police Fatesingh Patil said the police arrested the woman, Sarita Bharti, 37, under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act for running a prostitution racket, and rescued four women on December 4 from her house in Dandipada in Boisar.

During the probe, the police learnt that she had killed her husband Sahdeo Bharti 13 years ago, and buried the body in the same house.

“On Tuesday night, we have received information that Sarita is not only involved in the sex racket, but she had also killed several people, including her husband,” said senior inspector Kiran Kabadi from Boisar police station told Mid-Day.

When a police team dug up the floor of the house, they found a skeleton inside a pit, reported PTI. It was sent to forensic laboratory for examination.

Sarita further revealed that she killed her husband by hitting him on the head while he was asleep. The reason behind the murder is not clear yet. Our investigations are on,” Kabadi added.

 

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Two Bangladeshis arrested near Mumbai for sex trafficking of a minor

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The girl was allegedly in a relationship with one of the accused and was brought to India on the promise of marriage
She was forced into prostitution and raped repeatedly.

She was forced into prostitution and raped repeatedly.(File pic for representation)

Two Bangladeshi men were arrested by the Thane antihuman trafficking cell on Wednesday for allegedly kidnapping a 16-year-old girl from the neighbouring country and raping her over a month. The accused — Liyan alias Saurabh Noor Islam Mulla, 20, and his uncle, Shohag Mohammed Shabib Islam, 25 — were remanded in police custody till December 12.

According to the police, the girl was kept in a rented house in Bangalore and was brought to Thane on the pretext that she was being sent back to Bangladesh.

The girl was allegedly in a relationship with Mulla for a year and was brought to India last month on the promise of marriage. A police officer from the Thane station, said “Mulla lured the girl with the promise of marriage. He told her that they would visit Bangalore for a month before getting married. However, after coming to India, she was forced into prostitution and raped repeatedly.”

On a tip-off, the Thane police sent a decoy officer to Mulla who agreed to sell the girl for Rs75,000. Mulla was arrested from Shivaji hospital, Kalwa.

The two have been charged under relevant sections of the POCSO and IPC.

No trace of Khunti’s missing children

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A survey by EDISS in Karra village reveals that there are at least 20 cases where a child has been missing for over 10 years

A survey by EDISS in Karra village reveals that there are at least 20 cases where a child has been missing for over 10 years

Geeta Kumari (name changed) has not returned home in the past 10 years. A resident of a village in Karrablock of Khunti district, Geeta was only 12-year-old when she ‘disappeared’. Her parents have not been able to trace her. Shila Kumari (name changed) was trafficked to Delhi by a woman for domestic work when she was 11-year-old.

It’s been over three years now and her parents have no idea where she is. These are just two of over 20 such cases, in which children went missing from various villages of Karra block and have still not been traced.

These villages are situated in interior, forested region and the nearest Karra police station is located 13km away. Social activists of a non-government organisation, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of Social Services (EDISS), conducted a survey in Karra block for around two months in which they came across over 20 such cases of missing children, some of whom have been missing for over 10 years.
Ravi Kumar of EDISS, who was a part of the survey team, said, “The parents of these children are too scared of the traffickers to approach the police.
It took us over a month to convince some of the parents to approach the police station. Parents of eight missing children finally agreed and an FIR was registered in the Khunti Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU).” Khunti AHTU in-charge Meera Singh said, “These are all cases of human trafficking. FIRs have been lodged and we are probing into the matter.” Baidnath Kumar, another activist who was also a part of the survey team, said that names of two traffickers —Shiva and Kunjal Mahato —have come to light during their probe. “Kunjal Mahato is an aide of the trafficking kingpin Pannalal Mahato.
These traffickers are learnt to have been threatening the villagers whenever they try enquiring about their children.” Mother of a trafficked girl who had approached Shiva to ask about her daughter was not just threatened but also beaten up, leading to a fractured arm. Ravi Kumar said he too also threatened by the traffickers. “When I initially started visiting the villages, Shiva and another person, Budhni Munda, threatened me to stop going there. I am planning to file a complaint against them,” Ravi said.

 

Sold, Tortured and Repeatedly Raped, Now Jaya Is a Guardian Angel for Sex Workers

The Better India

An incredible initiative to rehabilitate sex workers and their children.

“Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.”
—Patti Smith

Prostitution in India is unregulated. And in many scenarios considered illegal. Which is why sex workers do not have an audience for their woes. Regarded as “immoral” by a society with a skewed moral compass, they are most often denied basic human decency.

Trafficking is one of prostitution’s primary sources for new sex workers. Lured by the offer of a job, or even kidnapped, trafficked women have no idea what is in store for them till they find themselves locked up alone with a drunk, lustful “client”.

Jayamma grew up an orphan. After a tough adolescence and teenage, she finally met a man she loved and married. This man, over the course of time, started succumbing to alcoholism and forcibly sold Jayamma to a broker for sex work.

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 finalist, Jayamma quit sexwork to set up an NGO for edu, skills and protection of children of sexworkers

Kidnapped, repeatedly raped, beaten, sold, bought, wrongfully confined and harassed both mentally and physically, Jayamma decided to take up the cause of women in the same situation she was in.

This was difficult, as these women were not willing to be identified or helped, scared of the network of undesirable elements.

With the help of Mr Jaya Singh Thomas, an NGO executive from the “IRDS” in Hyderabad, Jayamma began to slowly go about meeting these women, speaking to them and collecting their stories. Many were sold by their own husbands or forced into prostitution by unscrupulous pimps. Many had been promised a job in the city but abducted soon after.

There was an urgent need to do something for these women.

Jaya and Jayamma realised that everything cannot be done at a stretch. There needs to be a legal identity of the support system. From the period 1998-2001, Jayamma visited rural self-help groups.

Discussing the impact of domestic violence, she was still hesitant to reveal her identity. However, on 1st December 2001 (World Aids Day), Jayamma and around 300 women took out a rally, with a banner that ready. “Chaithanya Mahila Mandali”, an initiative for the betterment of the life of sex workers and their children in Hyderabad.

When the initiative began, the ill-treatment sex workers receive on a regular basis became apparent. Police harassment, negative media portrayal and outright refusal by landlords when looking for a place to live, are some of the issues sex workers in India have to deal with.

Sex Worker in India. Picture for representative purposes only. Picture Courtesy: Flickr.

Sex Worker. Picture for representative purposes only. Picture Courtesy: Flickr.

The Chaithanya Mandali went from station to station and assured the sex workers that they are looking to uplift them, and are non-judgemental, willing to help any woman who wishes to opt out of the system.

The children of sex workers who Jayamma had met in 1998 had turned to or were forcibly entered into full-blown prostitution by 2004 or 2005.

Hyderabad has no red light area. The sex workers go out and solicit clients. They also take their children with them. They do this because the children have nowhere to go, and the police will not harass them if they are seen with a child. Once they solicit a client, the child often accompanies his mother and the client, as they go about their business.

Sometimes, small children get abused in front of their mothers. These people were not in a position to come to the police station. There have been many such unfortunate and unreported incidents involving sex workers and their children.

The Chaithanya Mahila Mandali initiated a system by which the children of sex workers would be protected. Through their programmes, they have achieved success. The children are growing up well, many of them work in MNC’s and are settled abroad.

The initiative that started in Hyderabad in 2010 with ten children, today has 56 children living with their mothers. Thanks to the Chaithanya Mahila Mandali, these sex-workers can now try for other jobs. The mandal not only rehabilitates the sex worker and her child, but also carries out follow-ups to check whether the child is safe.

The Chaithanya Mahila Mandali today boasts of a variety of programs, working in urban slums and rural areas, and holding crucial workshops highlighting the evils of trafficking. Through this initiative, more than 5000 women and children are being supported. Jaya maintains that it all boils down to the next generation, the children, who have to be protected from pimps.

The Chaithanya Mahila Mandali also works closely with, the government schools and authorities, to keep an eye on human trafficking.

If the children are sensitized towards the evils of trafficking, the future generations might shun the terrible practice altogether, wasting no time in bringing the perpetrators of the same to justice.

 A Session in Progress Picture Courtesy: Facebook.

A Session in Progress Picture Courtesy: Facebook.

The Chaitanya Mahila Mandali has been very successful in helping sex workers become re-enter mainstream society. The initiative takes care of the parentless and children of women forced into sex.

Jayamma, being in unfortunate circumstances herself, is able to empathise with these women who seemingly have no future. Even though she has won multiple awards, she remains focused on her ultimate goal—to successfully rehabilitate sex workers and their children.

Prostitution in India may not see legalisation or regulation anytime soon. If that does happen, then the industry will come out of the grip of the mafia that controls it. But till then, sex workers and their children will always face adversity. Right from the trafficker who kidnaps them, to the pimp who brokers them, to the client who abuses them, physically and mentally, to the society that casts them out, after fulfilling its lust.

It is time that we humanise and sensitise ourselves, and make a conscious effort to rehabilitate and help sex workers and their children.

India’s shame: modern slavery

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Representational Image 

The 2016 Joint Global Estimates of Modern Slavery – published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Australia-based NGO Walk Free Foundation (WFF) – which estimated that there are 24.9 million people in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriages worldwide seems to have rattled the Modi government. The reason is the survey’s conclusion that India accounts for most of them – more than 18 million of the estimated 40.3 million worldwide. After sending a rebuttal to ILO challenging India’s ranking, the government is now building pressure on it to distance itself from WFF, with which it collaborated in preparing the report. The government feels that the methodology of sampling is not clear and its focus on India had “enough potential to substantively harm India’s image and kill its exports market”.

This is a churlish response. Ironically the government’s stand has not been determined by those with domain expertise but by reports from the Intelligence Bureau. The methodology paper put in the public domain by WFF itself concedes that its report is not “without gaps and limitations” but provides “the best available data and information that exists about the scale and distribution of modern slavery today.” India has inarguably abolished slavery and its modern variants such as bonded labour, human trafficking and forced marriages. But it is equally true that the enforcement of these laws leaves much to be desired. The crime of modern slavery includes the act of recruiting, harbouring, transporting, providing or obtaining a person for compelled labour or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud or coercion. It permeates most conceivable levels of supply chains far beyond the trade for sexual exploitation. A rare rescue of 25 bonded labourers last week, for instance, revealed that they had been recruited from Madhya Pradesh, after being given loans ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000, transported to Rajasthan and forced to work as field workers without any pay for seven years.

While methods of mapping modern slavery can be disputed, its prevalence cannot be denied. There are no national figures on the number of people in slavery in India, but the Ministry of Labour and Employment recently announced plans to identify, rescue and help over 18 million bonded labourers by 2030. Given this ground reality, going into an absolute denial mode, as the Modi government seems inclined to, can be counterproductive. It is important to first understand critical aspects of the crime, and then identify the scope of policy interventions. The trade in these modern slaves transgresses state and national borders and the perpetrators are constantly reinventing themselves. It is high time policies to combat them followed suit, and went a step ahead.

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Human trafficking in Assam: Growing fast

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DIG (CID) enumerates gray areas in system for urgent measures

 Be it John Doe or Jane Doe – they may not know whether to cry or laugh – for the news is such a blend of vice and virtue for them. Assam topped the list of States in the nation on the number of human trafficking cases in 2015-16, and in sync with that the State received the best award in 2017 for rescuing as many as 194 trafficked persons, the highest in the nation.

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Needless to say that after drug peddling and gun running, human trafficking is the third most profitable business in India. Human trafficking in Assam has diverse shades for diverse purposes. Trafficking may be through threat, use of force, abduction, fraud and abuse of power, including giving or receiving payments of benefits. Likewise, traffic may be for physical and sexual exploitation and removal of organs that come under Section 370 of IPC. Human trafficking has assumed the status of a fast-growing crime in Assam and its investigation is challenging.
Sharing views and information on human trafficking, State DIG (CID) Raunak Ali Hazarika said: “The victims are mostly from poor families. The agents of a trafficking network are also, in most of the cases, known to the persons being trafficked. This is essentially a business of ‘reposing trust and breaching it’. The agents convince family members that their daughters or sons will be placed in jobs in the metropolitan cities. Trains, buses and waterways are the mostly used modes of transportation by traffickers. Factors responsible for such a fast growth of crimes are poverty, lack of awareness among guardians as well as wards, lack of education, geographical remoteness of Assam and the huge demand of manpower, especially girls, in the metropolitan cities of the country. Communal and ethnic clashes in the State, besides insurgency, also add to the menace. Trafficked girls from Assam are generally sent to North India and South Western India.”
Sharing some information from National Criminal Record Bureau (NCRB), the DIG said: “In 2016-17 Sonitpur district topped the list in the number of trafficking cases in the State. It was followed by Morigaon with 21 cases, Kamrup with 17 cases, Nagoan with 17 cases, Tinsukia with 15 cases, Kamrup(M) with 14 cases and Dhubri with 13 cases. In 2015-16, the State topped the list in the nation on human trafficking with as many as 1,494 cases registered. There might be more cases that were not registered. In some communities, gaonburhas settle such cases and they don’t allow victims or their families to register cases. Such cases are mostly found in Nagaland and Manipur.”
When asked on reasons behind rise in crimes against women in the State, Hazarika said: “The status of women is high in Assam. This apart, women come forward to register cases, registration of false cases, dowry cases, kidnapping, etc., add to the statistics. The inclusion of some abuses like sexual harassment and stalking as crimes against women in 2013 has also raised the number of such cases in the State.”

Spelling out some of the measures taken up to fight the menace, the DIG said every district of the State has an anti-human trafficking unit each manned by an inspector, two sub-inspectors, two head constables, two constables, a social worker, and an official each from Health and Education departments. “We’re imparting regular training to our personnel for their capacity building. We also hold awareness programmes in schools and colleges in collaboration with NGOs. We’ve constructed a task force for suggesting measures to check the menace. Apart from this, there’re coordinating bodies involving stakeholders to monitor such crimes. There are standard operational procedure (SOP) translated into Assamese in each and every police station in the State. In accordance with the Special Juvenile Police Act, the second officer of every police station has to look after child welfare cases,” he said.
The DIG, however, laments that lack of funds is a hurdle, as often as not, on the part of the police to check the menace. “We need shelter homes, medical care, counseling, legal aid and the like for rescued girls. They simply refuse to come back, as more often than not their families refuse to accept them. They like to be where they are on the ground that they can at least eke out their living, no matter how,” he said, and added: “Recruitment of more women police personnel is a must. We need dedicated women cell in every police station, besides more recruitment of civil police. Since people from NGOs and other government officials accompany us in conducting raids against trafficking, NGO people should also be given some incentives so as to encourage them. Maintenance of migration registers in DC and block offices is a must.”

 

Head of Christian-run orphanage in India arrested in trafficking investigation

By Thomson Reuters Foundation:

Police in southern India have arrested a pastor accused of trafficking girls through a Christian-run orphanage that was taken over by authorities two years ago during an investigation into the unregistered children’s home.

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Police in southern Tamil Nadu state said they arrested Pastor Gideon Jacob on Saturday after he arrived from Germany and he has been charged under trafficking and juvenile justice laws.

Denying the allegations, Jacob’s lawyer told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that his client had voluntarily appeared before the police and was cooperating with the investigation.

The Moses Ministries home in Tiruchy, run by Germany-based Christian Initiative for India that was founded by Jacob in 1989, housed 89 children, all said to have been rescued from female infanticide from Usilampatti in neighboring Madurai.

However, the home had no proper records of the children, all of whom are now aged 18 years and above.

In December 2015, the home was taken over by the social welfare department after a court directive.

A wave of claims by people saying they were the children’s parents prompted a local court to rule that all the children should undergo DNA testing to establish their real families.

In 2016, DNA results showed at least 32 matches. None of the girls, however, have yet been reunited with their families.

“We have been counseling the girls, who have known no other life since they were babies,” said Tiruchy district head Kuppanna Gounder Rajamani.

“We have also identified the parents willing to take back their daughters and, following Saturday’s arrest, things will move faster and we are hoping to reunite the girls soon.”

More than 40 percent of human trafficking cases in India in 2015 involved children being bought, sold and exploited as modern-day slaves, according to government crime data.

There has been a recent spate of reports of the trafficking of infants and children for adoption and raising funds through charity-run child homes and private hospitals.

In Tamil Nadu, state authorities closed 500 homes between 2011 and 2016, citing mismanagement, a lack of registration and misconduct.

Rights groups have long complained that children’s homes in India are poorly regulated, not inspected often enough, and that many privately-run institutions are able to operate without a license leaving thousands of children open to abuse.

“The arrest gives us hope that there will be justice,” said A. Narayanan, the director of advocacy group Change India, who outlined the scope of the problem in a petition filed in Chennai’s High Court.

“The real worry is when and how these girls will be rehabilitated. Right now, it seems like a life sentence, where they are resigned to live in an institutional home.”