Delhi Government to Form Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking

  1. Delhi Government’s anti-trafficking committee made functional after 5 years.
  2. Rehabilitation Policy for Trafficking Victims to be framed.
  3. Effective steps to be taken to stop second generation prostitution.

19216.otherhorror1The anti-trafficking committee of Delhi met at the Delhi Secretariat under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary of Government of Delhi, Sh. K.K. Sharma. The Committee was formed after Supreme Court orders in 2012. This was the first meeting of the committee after its formation. Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Ms. Swati Maliwal Jaihind attended the meeting as Special Invitee. The meeting was called on the written request of the DCW chief to the Chief Secretary of Delhi.

After the meeting, the DCW Chief said that a special task force will be made which will draft a rehabilitation policy for trafficking victims. There is no such existing policy for the victims at the moment. Under this policy trafficking victims would get skill development training and job placements also. The DCW also suggested involvement of bodies like FICCI, ASSOCHAM, PHD Chamber of Commerce so that they can also help in the rehabilitation of the victims. The Chief Secretary accepted the suggestion and ordered the same to be included.

The DCW Chief informed the Chief Secretary that the Delhi Police solely depends on the NGOs and police of other states for the rescue operations in GB Road and other places, which shows that they don’t have their own information system.

The Chief Secretary asked the Delhi Police to make a strong information network so that girls can be rescued easily from places like GB Road. The Chief Secretary also asked Delhi Police officers and Director of Prosecution to give details of the number of FIRs lodged and charge-sheets filed in last five years in the cases of trafficking; he also asked for a list of number of conviction in such cases.

Ms. Maliwal also told in the meeting that in various cases of brothels being sealed the owners of the brothel get stay from the courts in absence of a rehabilitation policy for the victims. The Government of Delhi is now going to make a rehabilitation policy. It was also decided in the meeting to deploy lady sensitive police in GB Road.

The Chief Secretary also asked the police officers to tell the owners of the brothels that if any minor girl is found there brothels would be sealed.

The decision to reconstitute the committee was also taken in the meeting and members from NGOs and police would also be included. To stop second generation prostitution, plans for residential schools for the kids of prostitutes and shifting them to the schools was also discussed.

On the suggestion of the Director of WCD, formation of a panel of translators and interpreters for the trafficked girls was also discussed. A decision was also taken to make a data base of the traffickers in the country. A decision was also taken to sign an MoU with other states for easy restoration of girls from other states.

Facility of video-conferencing for the trafficking victims was also discussed in the meeting so that they could record their statement from their home states. The Chief Secretary asked the officers on the idea.

Mr Ravi Kant ,President Shakti Vahini welcomed the steps taken by the Delhi Government to Combat this Crime against Humanity. He said that the Task Force would create convergence among all stakeholders.


Shri Rajnath Singh to inaugurate National Conference on Human Trafficking

Training on Anti Human Trafficking with Police Officials of Bareilly Zone,Uttar Pradesh  in Collaboration with Shakti Vahini

Training on Anti Human Trafficking with Police Officials of Bareilly Zone,Uttar Pradesh in Collaboration with Shakti Vahini

The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh will inaugurate a National Conference on Human Trafficking, here on October 07, 2015. The conference is being organised by Ministry of Home Affairs along with key stakeholders like State nodal officers for human trafficking, officers of Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) set up in various districts, other stakeholder Ministries/Departments, NGOs and other experts in the field of Human Trafficking. The participants will discuss issues and challenges relating to Human Trafficking and ways and means to curb the menace more effectively.

Training on Anti Human Trafficking with Police Officials of Agra Zone,Uttar Pradesh  in Collaboration with Shakti Vahini

Training on Anti Human Trafficking with Police Officials of Agra Zone,Uttar Pradesh in Collaboration with Shakti Vahini

The Ministry of Home Affairs had advised all States/UTs to launch a sustained campaign titled ‘Operation Smile’ throughout the country for a month in January, 2015 to rescue the missing children and reunite them with their families. Encouraged by the response of this campaign, MHA rolled out another dedicated campaign titled ‘Operation Muskaan’ throughout the country in the month of July, 2015. A total of over 19,000 missing children were rescued during these two Operations.

The top performers of Operation Smile will be awarded during the Conference by the Union Home Minister.

Training on Anti Human Trafficking with Police Officials of GRP Lucknow  Zone,Uttar Pradesh  in Collaboration with Shakti Vahini

Training on Anti Human Trafficking with Police Officials of GRP Lucknow Zone,Uttar Pradesh in Collaboration with Shakti Vahini

New laws for trafficking victims



Victims of trafficking may no longer have to depose in court to prove their cases as the government is considering allowing video conferencing as part of wide ranging reforms suggested by a high level committee which has given its suggestions to the Union home ministry .The definition of sexual exploitation under the law is also set to be tightened to include ‘’involuntary acts done under coercion and in absence of free will’’, extending the scope of the law to include such portrayal in the print and electronic media and Internet.

Three sub-panels formed by NALSA core committee headed by Supreme Court judge Justice A.K. Sikri and consisting of joint secretary in home ministry Alok Kumar had submitted their report which is now being studied by the ministries of home and women and child development for implementation.

While work has already begun in the WCD ministry to amend the Imm-oral Traffic (Prevention) Act to remove any gaps in the law, the MHA is working on other suggestions which also call for setting up an exclusive or specialised agency for investigating organised crime.

Pointing out that trafficking, which includes sexual exploitation to a large extent has become one of the largest organised crime in the country, a top MHA official said that a dedicated institutional structure is in the works to act as the nodal point for coordinating with the various agencies concerned, including the police and the legal authorities.

The WCD may act as the nodal body and may have its own dedicated agency to deal with such crimes, the official said adding that deliberations are going on the issue.

On the legal reforms, the ministry of home is in the process of consulting the law ministry to allow video-conferencing for all victims of human trafficking to ‘’isolate them from the traffickers’’ and increase the conviction rates.

“The video conferencing of all victims of human trafficking may be allowed from the nearest point made available by the probe agency and is expected to go a long way in allowing more and more victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation approach the police with their complaints and depose before the courts subsequently,” the official added.

Saudi diplomat case: The perils of being a domestic help in India



Millions of domestic workers, who help us work our jobs and parent our children, are often victims of modern-day slavery and trafficking. Our homes, in fact, are at the edge of India’s rich-poor divide, says Gargi Gupta as she looks beyond cases of violent abuse to examine the status of the invisible but vital workforce

In mid-September, around the time the media was raging against the brutal sexual assault of two Nepalese domestic workers by a Saudi Arab diplomat, another bit of news was tucked away in the inside pages of some Delhi newspapers. It was about a 12-year-old girl, employed as a domestic help in a Noida high-rise, who’d used a sari tied to the balcony grill to climb down from the 13th to 12th floor, in her desperation to flee her “employers”.

They would, she told the police, not let her leave the house, make her work all hours of the day, and give food just twice – tea in the morning and two chapattis in the evening; the bathroom was off limits, so she’d have to use the balcony.

Horrifying? Yes, but no more shocking than the condition of a 15-year-old girl from Jharkhand, who was rescued from Vasant Kunj, a middle-class neighbourhood in south Delhi, some years ago. She was found half-naked with knife and bite injuries and burn marks; her employer, a 50-year-old senior executive in an MNC, would beat her regularly and make her drink urine.

And then was the case of another minor girl from the northeast whose air hostess employer would lock her up for weeks on end when she flew abroad.

And this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. While sensational cases of abuse and violent assault hit the national spotlight, what gets ignored is the daily exploitation of domestic help in urban Indian homes, the irregular work hours, lack of leave, poor pay, and worse, the lack of dignity. Indeed, how many times have you gone to a mall or a restaurant to find these young maids tagging along, holding heavy bags or minding the child, standing by as the family tucks into their meal? It is as if they’re invisible.

The government recently announced that it has prepared a draft national policy for domestic workers, which mandates a minimum monthly wage of Rs 9,000, mandatory leave, social security cover, a tripartite agreement involving the worker, the employer and the placement agency, but it’s still at the proposal stage — very far from becoming an actionable legal tool that will protect the domestic worker.

Bindu, a 22-year-old maid who works as a full-time domestic help in east Delhi, gets paid Rs5,500 a month — this works out to Rs.184 a day, far less than the minimum wage of Rs.385 a day for unskilled labour notified by the state government. The family she lives with has four members and Bindu cooks, looks after a four-year-old child and keeps the house clean. Though her employers don’t sting when it comes to food, “there’s just so much work that it is often two or three in the afternoon, that I get to eat lunch”, she says.

“I was ill this summer. I had diarrhoea and high fever. I would have recovered fast had I rested but where was the time? Madam had to go to work; the child had to be got back from school and fed, and a hundred little jobs to do in the house,” says her friend Vasudha. Vasudha was lucky – her employers took her to the doctor and paid for her treatment. They even took a few days leave when her health took a turn for the worse.

Bindu and Vasudha are lucky in other ways too – their employers do not grudge them a little time off every evening when they accompany their wards to the playground. “We are from the same area in north Bengal and belong to the same Oraon tribe,” Vasudha says smiling. “We chat a bit, compare our employers, our pay, what work we do, tell each other what happened through the day. It feels nice to speak in our own language.” They’ve also opened bank accounts back in Siliguri and get their employer to transfer the money direct into their accounts.

These days, Bindu and Vasudha are worried about Pinky, a girl from their part of the country who’s recently come to work in the same apartment complex. Pinky is not allowed to step out of the house. “Her employers say that we gossip and will spoil her. But she told us, when she sneaked out once, that they don’t give her proper food, only leftover daal and sabzi and that too after everyone has eaten,” says Bindu. “We are worried about her and have told her to speak to the agency that has brought her here if things get too bad.” But that too is an uncertain hope – after all, as Vasudha chips in with the wisdom of her six year’ work experience, “all the agency cares about is their commission. They don’t care about us”.

We Indians can’t do without domestic help – the entire motley of part-time bais who sweep and mop, cooks who whip up the daily daal-chawal and drivers who negotiate the chaotic traffic as we chat on the mobile. With the rise in double-income nuclear families in urban India, the demand for domestic help has risen by leaps and bounds in recent years. Numbers are hard to come by in this unregulated, grey sector, but a recent estimate by KPMG for the government’s National Skill Development Corporation estimates the domestic workforce in India to be six million strong in 2013, and projected to grow to 10.88 million by 2022.

Sushmita Dasgupta, a senior marketing executive who lives with her two children and parents in a Gurgaon high-rise, speaks for an entire generation of working women when she says, “I couldn’t do without my full-time domestic help. They are my lifeline. Who will look after my father-in-law, who is an invalid and has a separate diet and needs to be given his medicines on time? Who will meet my children at the school bus and give them lunch when they come home? Besides, I have a hectic schedule and get late coming the evening and have to frequently travel on work.”

Dasgupta has been procuring domestic help from a “placement” agency in Delhi for the past five years — she has two maids, both in their late teens-early twenties, and pays them Rs.10,000 each; of this, Rs.7,000 goes to the girls and Rs.3,000 to the agency. But it hasn’t been easy for her as well. “None of the maids are trained when they come. I’ve had some girls coming straight from the village – one didn’t even know how to read the time while another was so homesick she ran away, and I spent a few sleepless nights until she was located. Many don’t know how to put on the gas, much less use the microwave or washing machine. Their personal hygiene is so poor that I insist that they first have a bath, wash their hair with anti-lice shampoo and clean their clothes properly with detergent.”

Few of us think of the issue in these terms, but in reality our homes are poised on the edge of India’s rich-poor divide, the convergent point of a great wave of migration, mostly of women, taking place from the rural remote interiors of the country, by desperately poor hordes untouched by the benefits of government development programmes, and into the cities where they hope to make their fortune.

At the forefront of this migration is a network of “placement agencies” with, at one end, local toughs who act as recruiting agents in the villages and, on the other, grungy rooms located in crowded, rundown localities of cities where these girls are brought to. “The families are promised either that the girl will be made to study or that the work will be veryhalka-pulka – baccha dekhna hoga,” says Rishikant of Shankti Vahini, an NGO in Delhi that works with the police to rescue these girls. “The parents, often, don’t care. The promise of money, often, is as low as Rs.3,000.”

The employers, says Rishikant, are equally to blame. “These placement agencies have no legal standing. Most of them give a receipt with a registration number, but how many care to check whether it is genuine? The forms have the girls’ names, address and ages – but where’s the proof? There should at least be a certificate from the school, as most have been to one until class two-three – but who thinks of asking?”

Another matter of concern, as Rishi kant points out, is the overlap between the placement agency network sourcing domestic help and the one trafficking women into the flesh trade. The government too, he says, has been slack in monitoring the agencies, or implementing the laws against child labour, or those governing minimum wage, work conditions, hours of work, etc.

“Only one state in India – Chhattisgarh, has a law to regulate domestic workers and placement agencies. In Delhi, which is where most of these placement agencies operate from, the government brought out a notification last year requiring registration of all placement agencies, passbooks issued to every employee, three-way contracts and payments to be made into bank accounts. But it’s been nearly a year and not a single placement agency has been registered and neither have the Delhi women’s commission or child welfare committee, which are supposed to monitor this, done anything.”

The domestic help, it seems, is invisible to the government too.

What makes Jharkhand the hunting ground of human traffickers



About 50 km south of Ranchi, in Khunti district, a narrow dirt road leads to Ganloya village.

Makeshift shops selling tobacco and mobile recharge cards are interspersed with thatched huts and tamarind trees in the hamlet of Panna Lal Mahto, allegedly one of India’s biggest human traffickers.

Despite the scorching heat, girls play barefoot in a clearing by a rice field. Nearby, a group of men sitting on a charpoy drink hadiya or rice beer. Of late, the village has been nicknamed Chora Ganloya — village of thieves — because of the growing number of young men turning to crime, primarily the trafficking of girls to ‘placement agencies’ in Delhi and the National Capital Region.

Khunti is one of five districts that form the Jharkhand belt — the others are Gumla, Simdega, Lohardaga and Latehar. The Jharkhand belt supplies domestic help to thousands of homes in Delhi and satellite towns such as Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad.

Unlike the state’s industrially developed districts, think Ranchi, Dhanbad or Bokaro, endemic poverty marks these districts, with more than 35% of the tribal population living below the poverty line. These pockets are also the Maoist war zones of Jharkhand.


These factors make it prime hunting ground for traffickers such as 42-year-old Mahto, who had amassed assets worth over Rs 65 crore in Delhi and Jharkhand, having allegedly trafficked about 3,000 girls and women by the time of his arrest last October, the result of a joint operation by the Delhi police Crime Branch and the Jharkhand Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU).

“Most of these placement agencies are organised crime syndicates and they regularly indulge in trafficking of women and children. The business of placement agencies has been fuelled by huge demand of maids from eastern tribal states in the National Capital Region of Delhi,” noted the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) India Country Assessment Report, 2013.

About 4,000 children have gone missing in Jharkhand over the past 10 years. Of these, 1,000 are yet to be traced, according to the CID. Approximately 42,000 girls have been trafficked from Jharkhand to metropolitan cities, as per the NGO coalition Action against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children (ATSEC), making it a major hub of human trafficking in India.

Anubhuti Nag*, a tribal girl who will turn 18 next month, was among the first few girls in Patsera, a Naxal-affected village of about 100 families in Gumla district, to make the trip to Delhi.

Within two weeks of her arriving in the city, a man named Mukesh Kumar, a Jharkhand native in his late 40s running a placement agency, hired her for Rs 5,000 per month. Anubhuti’s job was to receive potential recruits at the railway station, bring them to the office of the agency, keep a check on about 50 girls placed across the city by the agency, and accompany the new recruits on their maiden visits to the homes of their employers.

girls_gonesGradually, Mukesh spotted a potential trafficker in Anubhuti and offered her Rs 10,000 for each girl she could get from her village to Delhi. One afternoon, Anubhuti discovered that the bag containing all her ID documents was missing. She confronted Mukesh.

“Don’t pay me, but please return my documents. I want to go home,” she reportedly said. When he wouldn’t listen, she became angry and slapped him. Enraged, Mukesh and two aides raped her, she says. The following week, Anubhuti was rescued in a joint operation by the Jharkhand and Delhi police, but the rape was not recorded or investigated, on her request.

Back in their villages, girls like Anubhuti find themselves out of place as the government does not run any programmes for their rehabilitation. Wearing branded jeans and a T-shirt, with a smartphone in her hand, she looks starkly different from the rest of Patsera’s inhabitants. She is more confident, speaks fluent Hindi with a smattering of English words such as ‘park’, ‘society’, ‘hello’ and ‘bye’.

The villagers call them ‘Dilli return’ girls. There are few prospects for them here. Anubhuti supports her family of five on her savings of Rs 25,000. She hasn’t thought about what she, or they, will do once that is exhausted.

Alakh Singh, member of the district child welfare committee, a quasi-judicial body, says that in addition to the financial insecurity, Anubhuti and others like her find it difficult to readjust to village life. This makes them vulnerable to re-trafficking, he adds.

The signs of distress are visible in the numerous child care institutions that have mushroomed across the state. And in the fact that many families do not come to claim daughters that have been rescued. Anjali Munda*, 15, a tribal from a village in Khunti and a trafficking survivor, has lost hope of ever being reunited with her parents. They were contacted by the police three months ago, but have stayed away.

At her Sahyog Village (Sahyog is Hindi for assistance) facility alone, there are more than a dozen survivors in the same predicament. “Some parents are not willing to take them back. Others don’t have the resources to support them,” says Altaf Khan of Sahyog Village.

As with most survivors, for Anjali too, the first point of contact in her ‘life-changing’ journey was an acquaintance based in the Capital — a friend’s cousin who worked in a jeans-manufacturing unit in Delhi. “He asked me if I wanted to see the city. One day I left with him without telling anyone. I think this is why my parents are angry with me and do not come to get me,” she says.

Weekly markets and village fairs, local buses, and crossroads in Ranchi city where villagers gather in search of work are points of contact for traffickers and potential victims.

“These chowks are also now becoming recruitment centres for agents who lure women and girls to Delhi for work,” noted a report on human trafficking in Jharkhand prepared by Shakti Vahini (Vehicle of Strength), an NGO working against organised crime.

While some leave without telling their families, there are parents who send their children off with ‘agents’ in the hope that they will find employment in a big city.


Even those that are placed in jobs as promised end up isolated and dependent, forced to work as domestic help in slave-like conditions. Most are never paid.

ATSEC found that only 25% of the women who leave the Jharkhand belt with agents remain in contact with their families. “Usually, parents stop hearing from their children and the agents stop taking their calls,” says Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini.

Approaching police is a taboo in Naxalaffected villages, so many cases remain unreported. The women just disappear, and there is no one equipped to look for them.

In Gumla’s villages, the writing is literally on the wall. Messages warning people about human trafficking are scribbled on the exterior walls of houses and read, “Saavdhan. Kahin aapke bacche maanav vyaapar ka shikaar toh nahin (Beware. May your child not fall prey to those who trade in humans).”

Although the state government has taken some initiative to combat trafficking, establishing district child protection forces and special juvenile police units, implementation and enforcement are poor.

The result is that the trade continues unabated, even as Panna Lal Mahto and 75 others are lodged in Khunti prison, facing charges of trafficking.

“It’s like a flood. You stop the flow from one side, and it finds another way,” said Aradhna Singh, sub-inspector with the AHTU in Khunti, one of 225 such units set up across the country by the union home ministry in 2011-12. “According to our information, Mahto’s aides remain very active.”

Earlier this month, Mahto’s nephew, Manan*, a minor, was arrested at Ranchi railway station with three girls. None of the arrests seems to have deterred the rest of the trafficking network. The crackdown has just prompted them to modify their operations.

“Recruiting minor traffickers is a new trend,” Singh says. “It is difficult to prove their criminality in such cases. Even if it is proved, they will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act and not the Indian Penal Code.”

Many traffickers now opt for Ranchi-Delhi Rajdhani train to evade the task forces that now watch the Jharkhand Sampark Kranti Express, dubbed the Slavery Express. “On the Rajdhani, you don’t raise suspicion. Who would expect a trafficker to travel in the second class coach of an air-conditioned superfast train?” says Baidnath Kumar, program officer at Diya Seva Sansthan, a grassroot organisation in Ranchi.

The market has changed too. “Some of the victims are sent to Haryana where there is a demand of brides… Jharkhand women and children have been also in high demand to work as bonded labour in Haryana and Punjab,” according to the UNODC report.

Will Jharkhand ever tackle its trafficking menace? Mahto offered a worrying perspective during his arrest. “I have given jobs to far more people than the state government has,” he reportedly said.

One week, 8 kid rescues


New Delhi, Sept. 16: A minor Simdega girl, allegedly kept captive for seven years at a high-profile professional’s home in Mathura, was rescued today by an interstate police team, becoming the eighth child from Jharkhand to be rescued from in and around National Capital Region the past one week.

A three-member Jharkhand Police team, accompanied by eight Uttar Pradesh policemen, rescued the 16-year-old girl who was kept as a virtual prisoner at the home of a managing director of a dental college for seven years.

Simdega anti-human traffic unit (AHTU) inspector-in-charge Ramashish Sharma, who led the team, told The Telegraph this evening over phone from Mathura: “The girl’s father complained to the police that he had not heard from her for a very long time. All he knew was that she was working somewhere near Delhi.”

The police first traced the trafficker, now settled in Delhi, who led them to Mathura.

“She was working at the home of one Manoj Agrawal, the MD of Kanti Devi Dental College. The girl had not been allowed exposure to the outside world for seven years,” Sharma said.

At the time of filing the report, UP police were doing paperwork. Given the high profile of the employer, the UP home department from Lucknow is believed to be monitoring the case after they gave the green signal to raid the home.

“I don’t know if Agrawal will be arrested,” Simdega AHTU in-charge said.

133130997This shocking case follows yesterday’s rescue, when a team of Delhi police and NGO Shakti Vahini, led by Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal, rescued five children of West Singhbhum from a West Delhi placement agency.

They included two boys, between 14 and 15 years, and three 16-year-old girls.

An anonymous caller had tipped off the NGO that a girl from Jharkhand, recently brought to Delhi, had contracted dengue and pleaded she be sent back home. But she was allegedly being treated badly by her recruiters at BB Enterprises, an unregistered placement service for domestic helps.

When the raid team turned up at the address last night, they found not one but five children, all from Tukjur village of West Singhbhum, including the girl they were looking for.

One Birsa Pandu, who called himself a “placement agent”, was also arrested.

Last week, in separate raids in Meerut and North Delhi, two tribal sisters from Gumla were rescued.

The Telegraph also reported on Monday about a search operation in Palwal, Haryana, when a missing girl from Garhwa refused to go home, saying she was married and carrying the child of the man who allegedly procured her from traffickers.

Fears rise with floods, dam height – Vigil to stop trafficking



Guwahati, Sept. 15: Severe floods in Assam have fuelled fears of a spurt in trafficking of women and children from the ravaged areas of the state.

Police and NGOs are keeping vigil in the vulnerable areas since disasters have in the past caused largescale displacement of people, leading to migration, a situation that traffickers try to take maximum advantage of.

Shakti Vahini, an anti-trafficking NGO, said at least five minors from Assam, who were being trafficked to Delhi, have been rescued from trains in West Bengal and Bihar since August.

Deep Banerjee, regional project manager (North Bengal) of Shakti Vahini, told The Telegraph that on August 27 they had rescued a 16-year-old girl from Kokrajhar in Assam at New Jalpaiguri railway station and reunited her with her family.

“Another teenager from Dhubri in Assam was rescued at Katihar railway station in mid-August. At present, she is lodged in a shelter home at Araria since she is not been able to give the correct address of her village which is creating problems in locating her house,” he said.

“On September 3, two girls from Dhubri district, aged 15 and 16, were rescued from New Jalpaiguri railway station while they were being taken to Delhi by a suspected trafficker with the lure of employment. The trafficker managed to escape,” he added.

Banerjee said with floods hitting Assam, there could be a rise in trafficking of women and children from the vulnerable areas of the state. To prevent trafficking, the NGO is maintaining vigil on trains coming from Assam and at New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri junction and Delhi railway stations.

Director-general of police (CID) Mukesh Sahay said trafficking cases have been detected in the state in the past 15 days. He said it has been observed that post-disaster, both natural and manmade ones like riots, which cause displacement, incidents of trafficking are on the rise.

“We are aware of it and directions have already been issued to police, other government agencies concerned and civil society groups to remain alert and look for traffickers and their agents who become active in such situations,” Sahay said.

An official of the state social welfare department said people who have lost their agricultural land and homes due to erosion and floods are most vulnerable to trafficking since it becomes easy to take them to Delhi and other places with the lure of employment.

Digambar Narzary, chairperson of Nedan Foundation, a Kokrajhar-based anti-trafficking NGO, said the condition of the tarpaulin-roofed relief camps in Kokrajhar district, which shelter the riot-affected people from Adivasi and Bodo communities, had become pathetic following heavy rainfall in past weeks.

“Inmates of these camps are most vulnerable. Every week, we are getting two to three reported cases of trafficking from these areas,” he said.

Though there has been a steady improvement in the flood situation, even today 1,063 hectares of crop land and 62 villages are under water. Around 62 people have died in the latest wave of floods.

Shakti Vahini spokesperson Rishi Kant said there had been a rise in trafficking from Nepal after the devastating earthquake this year, from the Sundarbans after cyclone Aila hit Bengal in 2009 and the same could happen in Assam if preventive measures are not taken.