NEW DELHI: One of the two young women rescued from Delhi’s hellhole—the infamous GB Road on Friday—could never had never imagined her traffickers going such lengths to try and push her back into flesh trade. Two women, who appeared before the local court where she was produced on Saturday, claimed they were her aunts but could provide no document to prove it. They even refused to state how her parents lost their lives, a claim they made before the court. Cops believe the two are part of the trafficking gang but managed to slip away from the court premises before they could be detained. Police, though, said there was no evidence against the two women to take any action against them.
Shakti Vahini, the NGO that helped rescue her, claimed she is a minor. However, the victim has told Kamla Market police that she is 19 years old and hence a major. This is the reason she was initially not produced before a juvenile justice board. Police claim she’s from Nepal. The local court has now given a detailed order in the case. “Two women, Sarita and Bakula, have appeared and submitted they are the mausi and bua of the girl, respectively. However, they could not provide the names of her parents or how their deaths occurred though they claimed they had passed away. It is doubtful if the women are related to her at all,” metropolitan magistrate Sachin Sangwan said.
The order goes on to state that the cops must get the ossification test of the girl done as there is no document to show that she is a minor.
The other victim, an 18-year-old student from South 24-Parganas, is not happy that Delhi Police has decided to leave it to police in West Bengal to register a case and conduct investigations even after she named five persons. “I request the chairperson to take immediate action against the traffickers and brothel keepers so that many like me can be saved,” she wrote to National Commission for Women.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights team to publish report on rampant trafficking in West Bengal
NEW DELHI: A team from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights(NCPCR) which had toured Bengal in view of the rising number of missing children in the state is busy preparing the final report which is expected to be tabled next week. The move comes in the midst of data recently published by NCRB stating that the state ranks poorly when it comes to tackle trafficking. The three member delegation consisting of – Vinod Kumar Tikoo, Shaista Khan, senior consultant, NCPCR and Debayani Bose, media consultant NCPCR reached Kolkata last week to have a dialogue with the West Bengal administration on Child Protection issues. The NGO Shakti Vahini helped the team in Kolkata with the purpose of linking the source and destination of the human trafficking areas.
A NCPCR official said that the The Anti Human Trafficking Units of West Bengal should play the pro active role in fighting this social evil. “Meetings were organized with the NGOs working there and also with the district administration of the concerned districts. The delegation will also had a dialogue with the concerned stakeholders of child protection like medical department, education department and police,” said the official.
The delegation visited the affected districts like South 24 Parganas, Malda and Murshidabad which are most prone to child trafficking. They also met V V Thambi, DGP, CID (West Bengal) and discuss about the status of child trafficking in West Bengal. The meeting focused on the NGO-AHTU partnership of source and destination. As a part of this visit, the team also attended a programme organized by Salaap NGO in which documents related to child protection were released and also discussion on Reintegration of trafficked children took place. According to Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini the visit is very important considering the state as most trafficked prone area and a strategy needs to be developed to combat the menace.
- Concern over health of human trafficking victims (traffickingnews.wordpress.com)
- Concerted efforts will weed out trafficking (traffickingnews.wordpress.com)
- Concern over health of human trafficking victims (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
- Concerted efforts will weed out trafficking (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
- Concern over health of human trafficking victims (thehindu.com)
- 2 trafficked minor girls rescued (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
- Raids on trains from east and northeast to curb Girl Trafficking (traffickingnews.wordpress.com)
- Eight girls rescued from placement cells (traffickingnews.wordpress.com)
- Two minor girls rescued from Old Delhi station (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
- Raids on trains from east and northeast to curb Girl Trafficking (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
One of the rare instances of a victim leading the police to the same dingy by-lanes to rescue another woman
The story of a young woman rescued from an infamous red-light area of the National Capital about a week ago is one of the rare instances of a victim of human trafficking turning into a rescuer. By leading the police to another victim late on Sunday night, she showed indomitable courage while traversing the same dingy by-lanes where she was once physically tortured and even locked up in a closet by flesh traders.
Twenty-four-year-old Ranjana (name changed), a mother of two children from the poverty-ridden South 24 Parganas of West Bengal, was beguiled into a trap laid by one Bappa Haldar. He approached her with a lucrative offer of a better job in Kolkata and hoping for a bright future, she agreed to accompany on March 15. To her surprise the train she boarded was destined for Delhi.
“When I asked where I was being taken, he started fighting with me. The co-passengers objected, at which he claimed that I was his wife. I screamed I was not. He then threatened to push me off the running train,” said Ranjana.
Ranjana was first taken to a house in Kotla Mubarakpur in South Delhi where she was kept with another girl and then taken to a brothel on G.B. Road by a woman conduit. “When I refused to comply with, they beat me up with sticks and shoes.”
Following a missing report lodged by her husband, the West Bengal police came across the mobile phone number of a suspect showing G.B. Road as its location. “Deputy Superintendent of Police Papiya Sultana, nodal-officer of the South 24 Parganas human trafficking cell, immediately shared the information with us. We sought assistance from the Kamla Market police which raided the place on March 31. The woman was finally found locked up in a closet,” said Rishi Kant of NGO Shakti Vahini.
Even as she was being rescued, a minor girl trafficked from South 24 Parganas was being kept confined in another room of the same brothel. “I worked as a domestic help at Baliganj in Kolkata where I met a young man who befriended me. Promising a better salary at another house in Kolkata, he made me board a train on March 6. Realising that I was being taken somewhere else, I confronted him. He then took me to the lavatory and beat me up. This happened at the Howrah railway station,” said Kavita (name changed).
The other victim
The victim was brought to Delhi, kept in a house and then sold off to the owner of the brothel where she was physically tortured.
A five-member police team from West Bengal was about to start for Delhi to take custody of Ranjana when Kavita’s brother, a tailor, pleaded that he also be allowed to accompany them to the Capital as he suspected that his sister had also met the same fate.
“Initially we thought that she had eloped and married someone, but then we learnt that she had been taken to Delhi,” he said, adding that the trafficking agent later called up his mother stating that the girl had been sold off.
On rescue mission
Soon after the police got Ranjana’s custody, Kavita’s brother showed his sister’s photograph to her. “We all were stunned, and the brother elated, when she instantly recognised her and revealed that she had been kept in the same brothel. In desperation, the brother requested us to raid the place immediately. But we had to wait for an opportune time,” said a police officer.
Following counselling sessions and motivation by the police, Ranjana finally agreed to help them rescue the girl. “The raid was planned in coordination with the Kamla Market police. Accompanied by women police personnel, Ranjana led us to the brothel from where the girl was rescued around 11 p.m. on Sunday,” said Mr. Kant.
When the victim was taken to a nearby hospital from a routine medical examination, the doctors discovered that she had been given abortion pills.
The girl would be produced before the Child Welfare Committee on Tuesday and then taken back to her native place. “All necessary steps will be taken to rehabilitate the victims,” said Mr. Kant.
- Teen mother freed from brothel (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
- Raids on trains to curb trafficking to check trafficking (traffickingnews.wordpress.com)
- Raids on trains to curb trafficking to check trafficking (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
- Two minors from Bengal rescued from fresh trade (traffickingnews.wordpress.com)
- Two minors from Bengal rescued from fresh trade (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
- Bengal’s blot: 8000 missing girls (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
- 17 minors rescued from Delhi brothels (traffickingnews.wordpress.com)
- Pushed into flesh trade in Delhi, a woman’s journey back home in Bengal (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
- Pushed into flesh trade in Delhi, a woman’s journey back home in Bengal (traffickingnews.wordpress.com)
- Demonstrators protesting against slum evictions arrested during protest meeting in Kolkata (icrindia.wordpress.com)
THE TELEGRAPH KOLKATA
New Delhi, Dec. 17: Kidnapped and sold last year and rescued from Delhi yesterday, 16-year-old Bengal girl Yasmin Khatun says she doesn’t want to return home for fear of ostracism. Consumed with shame and misplaced guilt at the “different” life she has led for the past year and a half, Yasmin (name changed) has told police and social workers she has “grave doubts” about ever being accepted by the people of her South 24-Parganas village, Balikhali.“She is both traumatised and humiliated,” said Bengal CID inspector Sarbari Bhattacharya, the leader of the police team that came to Delhi to rescue the Kakdwip girl who was abducted in April last year.
“She told me she doesn’t want to go back to Bengal because she is unsure how she would be received. She wants to remain in Delhi. The traffickers who brought her to Delhi have brainwashed her into thinking that she would be humiliated and taunted by her own people if she ever returns home.”
Tomorrow, the Delhi government’s child welfare committee (CWC) will counsel Yasmin and try to dispel her fears. At some point of time, Yasmin may have to travel at least to Calcutta, whose high court has asked the police to produce her. CWC chairperson Neera Mallick, however, said: “The girl needs counselling at least for the next six months before she is exposed to the world.”
Inspector Bhattacharya said the traffickers would torture Yasmin every time she said she wanted to return home, and had brainwashed her into thinking that after her life in Delhi, she would be an “untouchable” back in Bengal. “She is confused,” Bhattacharya said. “Sometimes she smiles and sometimes she suddenly starts crying.” Over a period of time, the officer said, Yasmin began believing she would never be able to leave and began accepting her life in Delhi. Her tormentors then started tutoring her in etiquette and the social graces, and bought her expensive dresses, to transform the rustic girl into a “lady of society”.
“I was surprised last night when, while having dinner, she suddenly asked for a napkin,” Bhattacharya said. “I never expected that from a village girl. But I quickly realised that the traffickers had been grooming her. The room we rescued her from had an air-conditioner.”Rashi Aditi Ghosh, of the NGO Shakti Vahini, who had accompanied the police on the raid to rescue the girl, too said that Yasmin had told her she didn’t want to “go back to her baba and maa”.
“She said she was disgusted with her father’s foul behaviour. She seemed confused and may not be telling the whole truth.”It’s not clear what Yasmin has against her 61-year-old father Khater Bhisti, a fish seller, but she owes her freedom to her unlettered stepmother Johora Bibi who, faced with initial police apathy, fought a lone crusade to take the battle to the high court. Ghosh said her NGO had helped rescue many trafficked girls and that she did not find Yasmin’s behaviour unusual. Having accepted their new life, especially the “material comforts” that come with it, many of the girls are reluctant to return home.
“Yasmin is ashamed of the life she has been forced to lead but, at the same time, she has grown used to the comforts. In this confused state she may be trying to find excuses not to return home,” Ghosh said. “Many girls we have rescued have behaved in this way, but she needs counselling and someone she can open her heart to.”
For now, Yasmin is staying at Nirmal Chhaya, a home for girls run by the Delhi government’s social welfare department. The police have been asked to provide all the files about Yasmin, including her medical examination report, for tomorrow’s CWC hearing that will help decide if she would be returning home.
In Calcutta, the CID said it would approach the high court on Monday and seek permission to produce Yasmin. It was the court order to produce Yasmin, on a petition from Johora, that had kicked off the hunt for her.