Cops bust sex racket operating from Wadgaonsheri call centre

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PUBLISHED IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

PUNE: A call centre operating out of Wadgaonsheri was running a sex racket through a web portal.

The city crime branch’s social security cell busted the call centre involved in prostitution racket following a raid conducted on Friday evening. This is the first instance in the city of a sex racket running from a call centre. The suspects were extensively using social networking sites and websites to run the racket.

A team comprising senior inspector Sanjay Patil, assistant inspectors Chandrakant Jadhav and Sheetal Bhalekar, and constable Satish Dhole raided the call centre and arrested three persons. The suspects have been identified as Shrikant Kalidas Tuljapure (27) of Solapur, Sagar Swaminath Ambade (24) and a woman from the city. Three others have been booked for running the racket.

According to the police, the suspects had a web portal. They were operating it from an apartment in the Wadgaonsheri area. The portal had sleazy images of some women and it claimed that they were available in the city for different services. The website had 13 cellphone numbers and customers were requested to call on them.

 Senior inspector Patil said, “Out of the 13 cellphones, police found 10 on the spot. The three suspects were rounded up from the apartment.”

After the clients contacted on the given numbers, the arrested woman tele-caller used to guide them. She used to take down their phone numbers and contact them using an internet-based text messaging service. She used to send photographs of the women available in the city to the clients for selection.

Then pimps used to get in touch with the customers, fix the rate and hotel rooms. “The pimps used to ferry the women to the hotels after striking the deal,” he said.

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Crimes against women at alarming levels in Bengal

19216.otherhorror1PUBLISHED IN THE HINDU

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data on crimes against women, including trafficking in West Bengal, have shown alarming highs.

What happened?

The NCRB report for 2016, which was released on November 30, 2017, recorded 283 incidents and 307 victims under Section 326A (acid attack) and Section 326B (attempt to carry out an acid attack) in the country. Of these, West Bengal recorded 76 incidents of such attacks and about 83 victims, accounting for 26% of all incidents and 27% of victims. Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in the country with almost double the population of West Bengal, recorded 57 incidents and 61 victims.

Why can’t it be controlled?

Despite guidelines from the Supreme Court on regulating the sale of acid, there is little monitoring on the ground in West Bengal. While the guidelines ban over-the-counter sale of acid without identity proof, no restrictions have been imposed in rural and semi-urban areas where most of the attacks take place. The easy availability of the corrosive substance has resulted in high incidence of acid attacks in the State, according to the police.

What about other crimes?

Acid attacks are not the only crime directed at women in Bengal. One of the highest contributors of crime against women are cases registered under Section 498A of the IPC (cruelty by husband or his relatives). During 2016, 1,10,434 cases were registered across the country, of which West Bengal recorded 19,305 cases (over 17% of the total cases in the country).

When it comes to human trafficking, West Bengal is not only the highest contributor to the crime but it alone accounts for 44% of all cases nationally. Of the 8,132 cases of human trafficking reported in 2016, West Bengal accounted for 3,579 cases. In terms of missing children, which is related to human trafficking, the State recorded 8,335 cases of children gone missing in 2016. As the State shares a border with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, it has become a transit route in human trafficking. The distress-ridden tea gardens of north Bengal, the remote islands of Sunderbans and the districts of Malda and Murshidabad with poor human development indicators and high density of population serve as ideal source point for traffickers luring young girls on the pretext of jobs or marriage to other States. Some experts say that the number of cases of human trafficking are high as the police are proactive in registering cases of human trafficking and missing children. One of the aims of the Kanyashree Prakalpa launched by the West Bengal government was to curb trafficking by providing conditional cash transfer to school-going girls but the numbers clarify that a lot more needs to be done.

Who is to blame?

West Bengal has been recording a high crime rate against women over the past several years. In 2016, West Bengal ranked second with 32,513 cases of crime against women, contributing 9.6% to all such crimes in the country. Uttar Pradesh with over 17% of the female population of the country — Bengal has 7.5% — accounted for 14.5% of all crimes against women. But despite the high levels of crimes against women, it has failed to garner adequate attention from the authorities. The State government has not taken note of the numbers, and the Opposition too has not raised the issue.

Statutory bodies such as the West Bengal Women’s Commission and the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights have failed to put any system in place by which crimes against women and child trafficking can be arrested. According to non-governmental organisations working in the field, the commissions need to improve victims’ access to legal services and put in place concrete steps that can act as a safety net for women and children. The overall conviction rate for crime against women in India stands at 18.9 %. For West Bengal, the conviction rate is the lowest in the country at 3.3 %.

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.

 

Humanity above religion and guidelines to curb child trafficking

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Uttrakhand HC: Conduct DNA test of child beggars and their parents to prevent child trafficking
The Uttrakhand High Court reversed a trial court’s order and convicted a 30-year-old man on charges of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a minor girl.

The court held him guilty for luring a 15-year-old Nepali girl on the pretext of taking her on a shopping trip to Banbasa in Uttarakhand. The minor girl was then subjected to sexual harassment by the man during their travel, the court held. The man was arrested after a sub-inspector at Shadra Bairaj police station was tipped off about the crime.

While delivering the judgment, the high court passed certain directions for the State to curb human trafficking:

  • Police should verify identity documents of all minor girls coming from Nepal and take contact numbers of their guardians in India and Nepal.
  • Police should book human traffickers under the Money Laundering Act and attach their properties. The police should increase patrolling on borders and human trafficking units should be headed by officers not below the rank of DSP/CO.
  • Since minors are kidnapped and made to beg in India, police should conduct DNA test of the child beggars and people claiming to be their parents. It further directed a ban on begging in the State.
  • State government should constitute a separate wing and set up a photo bank data to trace missing boys and girls, the photo bank should be displayed on the state department’s website and should flashed at bus depots and railway stations by the police.

New born sold for Rs. 50000, human traffickers are active in the second capital of Maharashtra

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The incident goes like this, accused approached one Mona Barsagade, 26, a resident of Wadi area through a lady mediator Bharati
new born sold for rs 50000 human traffickers are active in the second capital of maharashtra

Representative Image by @Ashok_Trivedi

Dhantoli police had apprended a couple named Manish Mundada,36 and his wife Harsha Mundada,32 for allegedly buying out a 12 day old girl child from her poor mother on assurance of paying her Rs. 50000. After registering the complaint in appropriate sections, the police had arrested the couple and produced them in the court. The court had sanctioned 2 days remand for their custodial interrogation to the police. The arrest had raised qualm, that some human trafficking gang is active in the city. A senior police official revealed that we are investigating the matter from all possible angles.

The incident goes like this, accused approached one Mona Barsagade, 26, a resident of Wadi area through a lady mediator Bharati. Mona was blessed with one son, her husband is doing some business. During her second pregnancy, she had gone to a private hospital near law college square for treatment. The couple lured her to give her child to them and offered her to pay an amount of Rs. 50000. After the couple persuaded him, Mona agreed to it. On November 22, she delivered a girl child and handed over the child to the couple, against a payment of Rs.50000. After some time she started realising her mistake. She approached the couple for getting her daughter back.

When the couple refused, she lodged a complaint with the police. Acting on the complaint the cops arrested the couple from their residence at Senapati Nagar, Dighori. The couple claimed that this is a case of surrogacy and that they are running a surrogacy centre. However they could not produce relevant documents to justify their claim. Police also suspect for the involvement of the couple in an inter state human trafficking racket.

 

Calls to crackdown on people paying from just $1.50 for child sex in India

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By Roli Srivastava

MUMBAI, India, Dec 8 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Indian authorities are facing mounting pressure to crackdown on people paying to have sex with children with a politician from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rallying for public support to call for tougher action.

Fashion designer and spokeswoman of the Mumbai unit of BJP, Shaina Nana Chudasama, better known as Shaina N.C., has set up a change.org petition which already has nearly 100,000 signatures to raise concerns that hardly any child sex buyers are punished.

Child sex offenders in India can get up to life imprisonment under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, but the law is rarely applied in cases of children forced into commercial sex, campaigners say.

“The exploitation of children is so alarming. A person needs to spend all of 100 rupees ($1.50) to exploit children,” Shaina N.C. told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

She cited the case of a 14-year-old who was pumped with hormone injections to make her look older, was forced into having sex with multiple men, and later arrested along with brothel managers. The customers were let off after a warning.

She is demanding the chief minister of the western Maharashtra state, Devendra Fadnavis, mandate the police to arrest buyers of child sex.

PROTECT CHILDREN

“I am hoping the government will support the petition. We need to protect our children from across all sections of the society,” she said.

Campaigners on Thursday unveiled early findings of a study on child sexual exploitation that showed people paying for child sex are never arrested or prosecuted.

“In a regular child sexual abuse case, the child’s parents file a case against a known offender, which makes investigation easier,” said Roop Sen, researcher with Change Makers that carried out the study with Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

“But for children in commercial sex, the offenders are many and unknown to the child.”

Data released by the Indian government shows reports of human trafficking rose by almost 20 percent in 2016 against the previous year to more than 8,000. More than 60 percent of nearly 24,000 victims rescued were children.

South Asia, with India at its centre, is seen as one of the fastest-growing regions for human trafficking globally with an estimated 40 million people living as modern slaves last year.

Campaigners say thousands of children largely from poor rural families are lured or abducted by traffickers every year in India, and sold onto pimps and brothels who force them into sexual slavery.

The demand to focus on the men who buy sex is one of a series of measures in the report by the National Coalition to Protect Our Children (NCPOC), an initiative started by Indian parliamentarian Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

“The customer is the main person who creates and perpetuates demand. Sex trafficking will not stop until customers are treated as criminals,” said P.M. Nair, chair professor and research coordinator on human trafficking at TISS.

Reporting by Roli Srivastava @Rolionaroll; Editing by Belinda Goldsmith; Please credit Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women´s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org

‘Border Protection Grid’ in States bordering Bangladesh to strengthen security soon: Rajnath Singh

Farmers harvest paddy near Indo-Bangladesh border in Kamalpur area of Tripura's Dhalai district on May 15, 2014.  Tension prevails in the area after Indian farmers were allegedly prevented from entering their paddy fields by Bangladeshi nationals and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) on 14th May, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

INDIAN EXPRESS

The Union Home Minister announced this after chairing a meeting with chief ministers of Indo-Bangladesh border states at the auditorium of state secretariat in Kolkata.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday announced that a ‘Border Protection Grid’ will be set up in Indian states bordering Bangladesh to strengthen Indo-Bangladesh border security in a bid to curb various illegal activities. The Union Home Minister announced this after chairing a meeting with chief ministers of Indo-Bangladesh border states at the auditorium of state secretariat in Kolkata.

“Discussions were held to set up a Border Protection Grid (BPG) for multi-pronged and foolproof mechanism to secure our border. The grid will comprise various elements namely physical barriers, non-physical barriers, surveillance system, intelligence agencies, state police, BSF and other state and central agencies. BGP will be supervised by a state level standing committee which will be chaired by respective state secretaries. BGP will ensure greater help for states in the overall border security. For putting in place the BGP, active participation of respective state governments is required,” Singh said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Mizoram chief minister LalThanhawla attended the meeting while senior government officials of Tripura and Meghalaya took part in it. The Union Home Minister also asked respective states to increase its “vigilance” in border areas to control illegal migration, Rohingya influx, armed infiltration, cattle smuggling, human trafficking, supply of fake Indian currency notes and cross-border terrorism.

“We seek full cooperation from Bangladesh bordering states to control illegal activities in border areas. Border security is our top priority and there is a need to fast track border infrastructure development and strengthen border security,” Singh said during a news conference post the meeting.