Human Trafficking: 4 GH Girls Rescued From Bihar

The Shillong Times

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The Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Sunday rescued four teenage girls of Garo Hills while being trafficked to Muzaffarpur in Bihar. 
North Garo Hills Police has dispatched a women’s team to bring back the four girls to Meghalaya.
The police said illegal trafficking of men and women is a major problem as it continues unabated in Meghalaya.
According to the police, the four girls went missing soon after the New Year celebrations. An unidentified man from North Garo Hills lured the girls to come along with him to Muzaffarpur on the promise of giving them good jobs there with hefty salaries.
One of the parents filed an FIR with Mendipathar police station after receiving a call from his daughter that she was being taken to Muzaffarpur on the promise of a high salaried job.
After the FIR was filed, the police contacted a Church leader of North Garo Hills for help who, in turn, contacted Impulse NGO.
Subsequently, the Commissioner of Railway Protection Force (RPF) and IGP of Delhi Police for NE were contacted to launch a rescue mission.
The Impulse NGO also contacted NGOs and social welfare organisations in West Bengal and Bihar resulting in the rescue of the four girls.

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Godman running trafficking racket: DCW after rescuing 2 girls from Delhi ashram

The girls were confined illegally at an ashram run by spiritual leader Virender Dev Dixit in Karawal Nagar.
DCW chief Swati Maliwal has demanded a CBI probe into ‘human trafficking racket’ being run by Virender Dev Dixit. (Photo: PTI/File)

DCW chief Swati Maliwal has demanded a CBI probe into ‘human trafficking racket’ being run by Virender Dev Dixit.

Two girls were on Tuesday rescued from illegal confinement at an ashram run by spiritual leader Virender Dev Dixit in Karawal Nagar in a joint operation by the police and Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), officials said.

Some literature was also confiscated from the ashram where the girls were  confined, as crackdown continued on the controversial spiritual leader’s premises, they said.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal along with Ajay Verma, advocate appointed as amicus curae by the Delhi High Court, had visited the centre at Karawal Nagar on Monday. They found six women, including the two minors, living in confinement there.

Maliwal, who visited another centre run by Dixit at Nangloi on Monday, demanded a CBI probe into what she suspected was a human trafficking racket being run by him.

“It appears that Baba Virender Dev Dixit is running a human trafficking racket. The CBI should urgently and simultaneously conduct raids at all ashrams of Dixit across India and close them down. By delaying the raids, he is getting time to cover up his action,” she had said.

On December 23, the DCW along with the Delhi Police raided Dixit’s ashram in Mohan garden area of Uttam Nagar and found 25 women confined there.

The issue had come to light due to a PIL filed by an NGO Foundation for Social Empowerment before the Delhi High Court.

The NGO had informed the court that several minors and women were allegedly being illegally confined there.

Victims of Human Trafficking, These Chhattisgarh Girls Are Now Proud Bakers

The Better India

Reports suggest that close to 1500 cases of children who, as per a UNICEF survey, were trafficked from only five blocks in Chhattisgarh’s Jashpur district alone, from 2012 to 2014.

Beti Zindabad’ is a flagship project undertaken by the Chhattisgarh government. This unique initiative is helping survivors of human trafficking by setting up bakery units in Jashpur, in Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh is among top five states in the country, as far as figures for women and girl trafficking is concerned.

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The ten women survivors who run this unit have been subjected to trauma, trafficking, enslavement, and even physical abuse. While many organisations across the state are working on rescuing these girls, little is being done to rehabilitate them and help them live their life with dignity. Running this bakery unit has given their life a new meaning, and these women are embracing it well.

After spending some of the darkest days of their life, they were rescued from different parts of the country.

Aged between 15 and 21, the girls were excited with a long list of orders for nearly 100 cakes to deliver during Christmas, as reported by Times of India.

To prevent them from victims again, the idea of baking was introduced – Fresh out of the oven

As per a report in Nyooz, “Girls suffer from social stigma and their economic and social emancipation is crucial for their survival after their rescue. Breaking the pattern of obsolete skill development programmes, youths in Jashpur are being trained in hospitality, construction work, plastic engineering, fire safety and other occupational skills.

One of the girls in the group said that she was trafficked to Hyderabad a few years ago and was forced into domestic slavery. She was then left locked in a house by the owners with a mobile phone and very little to eat when they went on holidays.

“I was desperate to return home and totally exhausted. It was while watching a crime show on TV through which I learnt about a helpline number for children and I immediately called up for rescue. Though the traffickers were also arrested, I hadn’t brought anything back after nine years of slogging,” she narrated.

She was sexually and mentally assaulted, and her parents assumed she was dead as she wasn’t allowed to contact them all this while, as reported by the Times of India.

Here’s wishing this project the best and hope that many more survivors can live their life with dignity.

 

New anti-trafficking law soon: Life term for repeat offenders

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The bill has proposed 10-year punishment for those engaging in “aggravated forms of trafficking". For repeat offenders, it suggests imprisonment for life. The bill has also proposed the establishment of a national anti-trafficking bureau.
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 The government is set to introduce a law to guard against human trafficking, proposing a 10-year punishment for those engaging in “aggravated forms of trafficking” while seeking life imprisonment for repeat offenders.
A bill to identify various forms of trafficking, including for the purposes of bonded labour, sexual exploitation, pornography, removal of organs and begging, has proposed severe punishment for those engaging in the heinous crime.

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2017, initiated by the Women & Child Development Ministry, is currently with a Group of Ministers (GoM) that will take a final view on the matter, official sources told TOI.

The bill proposes the establishment of a national anti-trafficking bureau, which shall be entrusted with the gamut of issues aimed at controlling and tackling the menace under various forms. These include coordination, monitoring and surveillance of illegal movement of persons and their prevention. The bureau will also be entrusted with increasing cooperation and coordination with authorities concerned and organisations in foreign countries for strengthening operational and long-term intelligence for investigation of trafficking cases, and driving in mutual legal assistance.

Listing out the ‘aggravated forms of trafficking’, the bill speaks about offences such as forced labour, or bonded labour, by using violence, intimidation, inducement, promise of payment of money, deception or coercion. Also, it mentions trafficking after administering any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or alcohol, or for the purpose of marriage or under the pretext of marriage.

The aggravated form also includes trafficking for the purpose of begging or forcing those who are mentally ill or are pregnant. “Whoever commits the offence of aggravated form of trafficking of a person shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 10 years, but which may extend to life imprisonment and shall be liable to fine that shall not be less than Rs 1 lakh,” the bill proposes.

For repeat offenders, it suggests imprisonment for life “which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life”, apart from a fine that will not be less than Rs 2 lakh.

As per data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), human trafficking numbers rose by almost 20% in 2016 against the previous year. NCRBsaid there were 8,132 human trafficking cases last year against 6,877 in 2015, with the highest number of cases reported in West Bengal (44% of cases), followed by Rajasthan (17%).

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Of the 15,379 victims who were caught in trafficking, 10,150 were female and 5,229 males. NCRB said the purpose of trafficking included forced labour; sexual exploitation for prostitution; other forms of sexual exploitation; domestic servitude; forced marriage; child pornography; begging; drug peddling; and removal of organs. It is believed that the numbers recorded by NCRB are a far cry to actual incidences of trafficking as many cases went unreported with many people still unaware of the crime or lacking confidence to seek police help.

For those engaging in ‘buying or selling’ a person, the bill proposes rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than seven years which can be extended to 10 years with a fine upwards of Rs 1 lakh. The bill also seeks punishment for those engaging in trafficking with the help of media, including print, internet, digital or electronic. It stipulates a punishment of not less than seven years which can go up to 10 years and a fine not less than Rs 1 lakh.

“Whoever distributes or sells or stores, in any form in any electronic or printed form showing incidence of sexual exploitation, sexual assault or rape for the purpose of extortion or for coercion of the victim or his/her family members, or for unlawful gain, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but may extend to seven years.”

Apart from the national bureau, the bill also aims at having state-level anti-trafficking officers who shall also provide relief and rehabilitation services through district units and other civil-society organisations.
The bill also spells out measures towards relief and rehabilitation for the victims of trafficking, and seeks the formation of a committee for this purpose. The committee is proposed to be headed by the women & child development secretary and would have members from the ministries of home; external affairs; labour and employment; social justice and empowerment; panchayati raj; and heath and family welfare.

Surge in human trafficking; average 63 victims rescued a day in 2016

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West Bengal topped the list in reported cases of human trafficking at 3,579, accounting for 44 per cent of total cases in the country
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Of the total 15,379 victims in these cases, 9,034 (58 per cent) were below the age of 18 years, according to the latest NCRB statistics on crime released for 2016 (Representational)

More than 8,000 cases of human trafficking were reported in India in 2016, while 23,000 victims, including 182 foreigners, were rescued during the year, according to National Crime Records Bureau data. Last year, a total of 8,132 cases were reported from across the country compared to the 6,877 cases in 2015.

Of the total 15,379 victims in these cases, 9,034 (58 per cent) were below the age of 18 years, according to the latest NCRB statistics on crime released for 2016. West Bengal topped the list in reported cases of human trafficking at 3,579, accounting for 44 per cent of total cases in the country. The state had reported 1,255 (18.2 per cent) such cases in 2015, when it ranked second only to Assam.

Assam reported 91 cases (1.12 per cent) of human trafficking in 2016, witnessing a drastic reduction since 2015 when it ranked first in the country with 1,494 (21.7 per cent) such incidents. Rajasthan with 1,422 (17,5 per cent) cases was second on the list for reported human trafficking incidents in 2016, followed by Gujarat (548), Maharashtra (517) and Tamil Nadu (434).

In 2015, Rajasthan had reported 131 cases (1.9 per cent) of human trafficking while Gujarat had registered 47 (0.7 per cent). Delhi is 14th in this list for 2016 with 66 reported cases of human trafficking, down from 87 such cases in 2015.

According to the rate of crime (cases reported per one lakh population), West Bengal retained the first position in 2016 followed by Union territories Daman and Diu (7) and Goa (18). Daman and Diu otherwise ranks 24, while Goa 18. A total 23,117 human trafficking victims were rescued during 2016, with the police saving, on an average, 63 people a day.

While 22,932 of those rescued were Indian citizens, 38 were Sri Lankans and as many Nepalis. Thirty three of the foreigners rescued were identified as Bangladeshis, while 73 from ‘other countries’, including Thailand and Uzbekistan, the NCRB data stated. As many as 14,183 of the victims rescued in 2016 were below the age of 18 years, it said.

Human trafficking, prohibited under Article 23 (1) of the Constitution, includes forced labour, sexual exploitation or prostitution, domestic servitude, forced marriage, begging, adoption, child pornography and organ transplant.

Minor girl raped in Haridwar

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A 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour in Haridwar on Monday. Police have registered a case against the neighbour, 19-year-old Dilip Kumar, who is on the run, under section 376 (rape) of the Indian penal code and under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act.

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According to police, the survivor lived with her family in a slum under jurisdiction of Ranipur police station. The girl’s father is a sanitation worker at a local guest house.
Station house officer Ranipur police station Aishwarya Pal said, “The victim said she was raped by a local boy who knew her family well. He lured her into nearby bushes around 4 pm on Monday and raped her. He threatened her of dire consequences. The duo was spotted by some relatives of the girl who informed her parents.”
The father of the girl then lodged a police complaint. The girl was sent to district hospital for medical examination.

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.