Girl kidnapped for sex trade rescued on Id


Victim was sold by traffickers in Bengal, reunited with family

The festival of Id brought cheers to the family of 16-year-old Shaiyra (not her real name) who was tracked down to a brothel in West Bengal on Friday, almost 10 months after she was kidnapped by human traffickers from her residence in Hazrat Nizamuddin here on Id-ul-Zuha and sold off to sex traders. The victim, who was subjected to continuous sexual abuse, is being brought to the Capital to be reunited with her family.

It was the third day of Id-ul-Zuha celebrations when Shaiyra vanished from her residence on October 29 last year. “We enquired in the neighbourhood, but there was no trace of her. No one had any information on her whereabouts,” said her brother. The family finally lodged a complaint with the area police station.

When the girl remained missing for almost nine months, the family moved a habeas corpus in the Delhi High Court, which directed the police to take all necessary action to ensure that she was brought before it. The High Court also sought a status report from a senior Delhi Police officer.

While efforts were under way to track down the girl, she made two calls to her family. The calls originated from a mobile phone registered in the name of an Uttar Dinajpur resident in West Bengal.

“However, electronic surveillance by a team from the Hazrat Nizamuddin police station revealed that it was in use at Siliguri in West Bengal. The police team, working in coordination with non-government organisations HAQ and Shakti Vahini, zeroed in on a red-light area named Khalpara in Siliguri. Subsequently, a raid was mounted and the victim was rescued from a brothel. A woman named Noorjahan has also been arrested,” said a Shakti Vahini representative. The victim’s brother was also accompanying the raiding team.

After being rescued, the girl was taken to a local hospital for medical examination. She purportedly disclosed that one Mamta had taken her along with two other girls to West Bengal on the pretext of getting her a job. However, she was later sold off to Noorjahan for Rs.8 lakh. The victim was forced to have sex with over a dozen men everyday and on refusal, would be physically tortured by the brothel owner. “She will be taken to Delhi and produced before the High Court,” said the NGO representative.

Trafficked girl rescued


NEW DELHI: A minor girl was rescued from south Delhi after she alleged that she was sexually and physically assaulted by a trafficker. The girl was produced before Child Welfare Committee, which asked Delhi Police to register a case. The 17-year-old girl is a native of Tony Soong village, Darjeeling. On Tuesday, she was rescued by cops and NGO Shakti Vahini from Vasant Gaon, where she was provided temporary shelter by a Nepali family. “The girl was brought to Delhi four months ago on the pretext of marriage. The girl was being sexually and physically assaulted by the trafficker at Munirka,” said the CWC order. “To save her life, the girl ran away and was given protection by a family in Vasant Gaon,” the order adds. CWC noted that the girl was duped by a friend who gave her the number of one Satyanarayan from Siliguri. “According to the minor, her friend had given her the number of Satyanarayan. She left Darjeeling and went to Siliguri alone. After meeting Satyanarayan, they came to Delhi,” the order said. “The girl along with Satyanarayan was living in Munirka. After a week, Satyanarayan started exploiting her physically and sexually.” the order further stated.


Graft fuels trafficking

Graft fuels trafficking

Graft fuels trafficking


US department of state’s report paints gloomy picture for region

Guwahati, June 20: A US government report has painted a gloomy picture of human trafficking in the Northeast.The US state department’s 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report, released by secretary of state Hillary Clinton yesterday, said there had been a rise in women from the region being subjected to “servile marriages” in states with low female-to-male child sex ratios such as Haryana and Punjab. According to the report, girls from the Northeast are also subjected to transactional sexual exploitation in West Asia under the guise of temporary marriages.

The report blames corrupt law enforcement officers in India of facilitating the movement of sex trafficking victims besides protecting suspected traffickers and brothel-keepers from enforcement of the law by taking bribes from sex trafficking establishments and sexual services from victims. “Some policemen allegedly continue to tip off sex and labour traffickers to impede rescue efforts,” the report said.

The arrest of a BSF jawan posted at Aizawl for trafficking a minor girl from Mizoram to Rewari district in Haryana in September 2011 also finds mention in the report, which says the accused jawan has been out on bail since December 2011. The report has put India among Tier 2 countries whose governments do not fully comply with minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance.

“The government of India does not fully comply with the minimum standards for elimination of trafficking. However, it is making significant efforts to do so. The ministry of home affairs continues to establish anti-human trafficking units which are responsible for combining law enforcement and rehabilitation efforts,” the report said.

It added that there had been numerous reports about sex trafficking victims being rescued by police-NGO teams and increased reports about inter-state coordination among anti-human trafficking units that resulted in the victims being rescued. “In one case, the Manipur, Rajasthan, and Kerala anti-human trafficking units collaborated in the rescue of 33 trafficked children,” the report said.

Welcoming the report, Rishi Kant of Shakti-Vahini, a Delhi-based NGO working against trafficking, told The Telegraph that a large number of girls, mainly minors, from the Northeast was being regularly trafficked and forced to marry in states like Haryana and Punjab.

“The registration of trafficking cases by the police in the Northeast has risen, but the government must ensure that guilty persons are convicted in court and for that the judiciary also needs to be sensitised,” he said.

The anti-human trafficking unit of Assam police has recovered many girls from Hissar district in Haryana with help from Shakti Vahini and has been rewarded recently by the Union home ministry for its efforts. The report also quoted a senior government official saying that while trafficking rescues and registration of cases have increased, convictions remain low in the country. It added that the government continued to make progress in its law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking in 2011, but concerns remain over the uneven enforcement of trafficking laws and alleged official complicity.


Raids on trains from east and northeast to curb Girl Trafficking


NEW DELHI: The rescue of seven girls from West Bengal, after a raid on March 16 in various placement agencies in northwest Delhi and the subsequent rescue of several girls from four other states of India in May from the red-light areas of the Capital has led the Delhi Police to begin a 24-hour check on various trains arriving from Bengal, Jharkhand and the entire northeast.

These raids – without prior information – were first mooted by the NGOs. The Delhi Police has decided to hold talks with their Kolkata counterparts on the issue. The NGOs working against child trafficking have long been demanding a more “proactive and joint” action from the cops of all states.

“I have instructed by GRP staff to keep an eye on each of the children in some specific trains from east, northeast and south India. The whole idea is to ensure we nab the traffickers and rescue the children before they get mingled with the city’s population making it all the more difficult to nab and rescue them,” said Sanjay Bhatia, additional DCP (railways).

According to a reply to a Lok Sabha question, filed by the state crime records bureau on March 15 this year, a total of 7917 minor girls were “untracked” till 2011 from across India and believed to be in capital. Similarly, 3311 minor boys are missing from West Bengal alone, while another 2149 adult females were untracked till the end of last year.

When contacted, an officer of Kolkata CID department said they had begun random checks on trains leaving for the Capital. “We have started the exercise about a month back. But I have no qualms in admitting that the drive has not been satisfactory so far. Only a greater coordination with Delhi, UP and Jharkhand police can control this menace,” said an officer.

Cops in Kolkata and Delhi said they had zeroed in on two persons identified as Raj and Raju, who operate from the railway stations in and around Kolkata. A Delhi police team will be in the city soon to coordinate with Kolkata Police and nab the duo.

Sources in Delhi Police Anti Human Trafficking Unit said the girls, mostly, assemble at the Sealdah, Howrah, Guwahati and Ranchi railway stations and board trains like the Poorva Express, Kalka Mail and even Toofan Express and Jharkhand SK Express.

“This year alone, we have identified over a hundred cases of women trafficking from North 24 Parganas, Nadia, Malda and Coochbehar. We have over 500 untraced cases in last few years. We are also on the lookout for groups of girls arriving suspiciously in these trains at the New Delhi and Old Delhi stations. However, such raids have their limitations and constraints. Hence, we are still working on the finer details of carrying out these surprise checks,” said an AHTU official.

Shakti Vahini coordinator Rishi kant, who has been working on the issue for several years, said: “There are over 10,000 children missing from east India according to data provided in the Parliament last year most of whom use the rail network. We want cops to note down addresses of the girls arriving in the Capital for jobs. They can then check these addresses to find if those are genuine. Strict action against dubious agencies, which sell these girls in Haryana as brides, should be taken.”


Most rescued childeren are never rehabilitated

Most rescued childeren are never rehabilitated

Most rescued childeren are never rehabilitated


NEW DELHI: The teenage help who was rescued from a Dwarka apartment in March is now enrolled in a school in Jharkhand. She has received her wage arrears, besides support from the state. But hers is an exceptional story of rehabilitation. Experts say most trafficked children, even when rescued, lead bleak lives.

Take the case of two girls — aged 12 and 13 — who were brought to Delhi a year ago and sexually assaulted at a placement agency. After their rescue, they were sent to a shelter home in West Bengal, and have not received any significant help.

Experts say care and aid are lavished on victims only after their cases grab media attention. Generally, though, rescued children get trapped in procedural hurdles. The luckier ones are ‘reunited’ with their families but not rehabilitated and, occasionally, children even slip back into the hands of traffickers.

Rishikant, an activist from NGO Shakti Vahini, said, “We get many complaints and some of the offences are grave. The state machinery moves when a case gets highlighted. In most cases, the child welfare committees (CWCs) merely dump the children back home without follow-up,” he said. The chairperson of the Lajpat Nagar CWC said, “Reuniting does not mean rehabilitation.” Shakti Vahini claims that of the 200 children it rescued last year, none has been properly rehabilitated.

In most cases, delays occur due to poor inter-state coordination. “The authorities here are not so concerned as 90% of the cases are from other states. Their attitude is that the other state has to take care of them,” said CWC chairperson Raaj Mangal Prasad. It is also observed that the CWCs of the other states are not so zealous in their work.

Rishi Kant, another Shakti Vahini member, said this hampers follow-up action. “The CWC might pass orders in the city and, to an extent, also recover children’s due wages, but it becomes difficult to follow up on a case on a day-to-day basis.” He suggests that the labour department should act as an intermediary between source states and cities from where children are rescued.

The director for policy and research at Child Rights and You (CRY), Vijaylakshmi Arora, said lack of manpower is another important hurdle in rehabilitation. “If you go to the district level or the CWCs, you don’t find much manpower. It is usually one man taking care of 50 cases. That ratio has to be improved.”

Arora said a system needs to be in place to track each and every child’s case separately “as each child’s case is different and the factors for trafficking are different. This will also keep tabs on children who have been re-trafficked; at present there is no system to monitor that.”

While lack of manpower and poor interstate coordination hinder the process of rehabilitation, Prasad said transferring the monitoring of child labour to the department of women and child development will help. “The Child Labour Act that falls under the labour department does not look into the rehabilitation of a child; this is done by the Juvenile Justice Act that is the responsibility of the department of women and child development,” he said, adding, “Shifting the child labour issue to them would speed up the process”.


Anti-child labour cells need support

‘Anti-child labour cells need support’

‘Anti-child labour cells need support’


NEW DELHI: Anti-child labour laws and their strict implementation have not been able to contain the problem of child trafficking in the city. Children are still being trafficked from states like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Assam to work in factories and households in inhuman conditions.

Industrial estates like Okhla, Wazirpur and Jhilmil Colony see a number of such children steadily working when they are guaranteed free education under the Right to Education Act.

While Delhi Police’s anti-human trafficking cell is over a year old now, and has helped rescue child labourers, there are several areas that need to be worked upon.

Ravi Kant, Supreme Court advocate who is conducting a study on several such cells in Delhi and across the country said, “There is no convergence between the ministry of women and child welfare and these cells and both agencies are working in isolation. The ministry needs to support the work of the police.” Kant’s study will form the India Country Assessment Report for the ministry of home affairs.

“While district level sensitization is going on, the justice delivery system needs to be strengthened. The legal aid system does not properly support the victims right now as the victims have to travel between states and testify in a court. While the travel expenditure is taken care of by the court, the state does nothing to ensure their accommodation,” he said. Many times, the victims and their families do not show up in court due to social stigma. “There is need to conduct these cases over video conferencing to encourage victims to testify. Right now, employers are not getting convicted in a lot of cases because of this,” he added.

Activists also say that the creation of these cells have helped the process of rescue of child labourers. Till April-end this year, 34 cases of child labour have been reported and 149 such children rescued. In 2011, 135 cases were reported and 1,144 children rescued.

Activists say that responsive nodal officers have helped them crack down on employers faster. Increase in registration of cases of missing children is a positive step in this regard. “Each of these state cells are given Rs 35 lakhs per year and a jeep to help them in raids. Video cameras have been provided by MHA for detailed recording of these rescue operations,” said Rishi Kant of NGO Shakti Vahini.

Currently, the cell in each district is headed by one inspector with sufficient number of upper subordinates and supporting staff. “In case of any organized trafficking racket that comes to notice, instructions are that the probe of that case shall be transferred to Anti-Kidnapping section of the Crime Branch for further necessary action,” explained a senior police officer.

While 33 persons – including 22 women – have been arrested under the immoral trafficking (prevention) act already this year, 121 such persons were arrested last year


Anti-trafficking unit lacks manpower for child rescue


The Lajpat Nagar Child Welfare Committee has sought more staff for the anti-human trafficking unit of the Delhi Police Crime Branch for completion of pending assignments and rescue of more children, pointing out that the investigating officer in a case had expressed inability to conduct more rescues citing the current position of his staff strength.

In an order pertaining to the rescue of nine children, the CWC noted that the Crime Branch officer leading the investigation had expressed complete helplessness in rescuing more children due to lack of manpower. “The investigating officer has failed to do the required work even in the case of rescued children. One of the children had given before the committee specific complaint of sexual harassment amounting to outraging modesty, but the officer is yet to take action against the employers despite the fact that CWC has reminded the investigating officer several times,” said the order issued on Wednesday.

The committee said if such was the working of the Crime Branch, it would be in the interest of the children to transfer the case to the district police for investigation and needful action.

“The children will get justice and rehabilitated swiftly if the investigation officer follows the standard procedures as prescribed by the Delhi High Court….committee decides to send a copy of the order to the Delhi Police Commissioner for drawing his attention towards the working of the anti-human trafficking unit of the Crime Branch. The Police Commissioner may decide to give more staff to the branch for completing the unfinished task of rescuing more children and taking action against accused person, or transfer the case to the district police,” said the committee, adding that given the present condition of the unit, it was not expecting much to happen for the rescue of trafficked victims.

The CWC brought on record a brief report submitted by the investigating officer stating that four of the accused employers had presented themselves before the committee. “One more accused has been arrested and she is in judicial custody…As discussed with the employer, they are ready to pay the remaining wages,” said the report.

The committee observed that while the children’s statement had been recorded by the sub-divisional magistrate concerned, no order had been issued by him regarding the status of the children as bonded labours under the law.

“It is now more than 15 days and the matter has been pending with the SDM. This will delay the process of rehabilitation of children,” the order said.

  • CWC flays manpower shortage in Crime Branch unit
  • “Investigating officer refuses raid over staff strength”