50 pc surge in minor girls’ trafficking for prostitution; 121 rescued in past 2 months
New Delhi, October 9
While Delhi was being dolled up ahead of the Commonwealth Games, red-light areas were also busy planning to welcome the visitors and tourists. Investigations by The Tribune reveal that trafficking of girls, especially minors, has risen considerably in the past two months. Most children are being brought in through fraudulent placement agencies for domestic work and used for commercial sex in rented residences in semi-posh Delhi localities, including East of Kailsah, Kalkaji, Govindpuri Extension and Tuglakabad Extension. Over 121 girls have been rescued from traffickers from New and Old Delhi Railway Stations alone in the past two months. This number, as per documented data with registered anti-trafficking NGOs, was much lower in the past two years until August 2010.
Police records of these rescued girls show they worked as sex slaves, fetching for their “masters” anywhere between Rs 1,000 and Rs 30,000 an hour. Records of Shakti Vahini, active in the GB Road red-light area, alone confirm 75 rescues of minors in past two months. “Of these girls, 50 per cent were rescued from forced sex. There’s a definite surge, around 50 per cent, in trafficking,” says Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini. In 30 cases, the FIRs have been lodged for kidnapping and rape.
Another NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) last month detected 39 minors trafficked from MP on Paschim Express which halted at Nizamuddin train station. “This is shocking. There is a whole sex business going on around the Games. Trafficking in the past five years has never been so high despite regular surveillance of the police and anti-traffickers at destination points,” Rakesh Sanger, national secretary of BBA admits.
Call details of Childline India’s five Delhi helplines tell a similar story. Of the 432 trafficking complaints recorded in the past one year, 70 pc came in the past three months. “This surge is unprecedented and marks an eight-fold increase from the previous years. Ahead of CWG, we have also observed frenetic activity of traffickers not just in the GB Road area but also around railway stations.” Sumit Kumar of Childline says.
Analysis of trafficked cases reveals 90 per cent of the rescues happened on Jharkhand Sampark Kranti, Northeast Express, Brahmaputra Mail and Awadh Assam Express, and most girls came from West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam and Bihar. This despite the Home Ministry’s “Advisory for Prevention and Combat of Human Trafficking during the CWG” issued to Bengal, MP, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, UP and New Delhi on September 10.
Case histories of trafficked girls indicate that they were being sourced for jobs in the name of the Games, a fact revealed by the MHA advisory, which says: “Certain fraudulent placement agencies, involved in trafficking, were promising jobs to young girls in the Capital ahead of the Games. Minor girls are the main targets. Some are even injected with oxytocin to attain puberty at a younger age.”
In 30 per cent cases, where minors were sold for sex, they were first put in homes. A 13-year-old girl from Mumbai was rescued on August 3. She was brought to Delhi through a Shakarpur-based placement agency by an agent named Pappu, who first sent her to work in Punjabi Bagh, then tried to sell her for prostitution. He is under arrest. “We have conducted unprecedented number of rescues in recent days,” admits Surinderjit Kaur, SHO, Kamla Market police station, which covers GB Road. Along the GB Road, condom sales have also risen sharply. Where the Delhi AIDS Control Society provides four lakh a month, it is now supplying six lakh.
(Names of the girls have been changed to protect identity)
(To be concluded)