TIMES OF INDIA / DWIPAYAN GHOSH
NEW DELHI: Nine minors have been rescued and two youths arrested in a police operation that busted a gang of human traffickers. The gang was operating in Assam, West Bengal and the Indo-Bangladesh border.
The arrested have been identified as Ismail Ahmed (32), hailing from Nowagaon in Assam and Babita (25), who allegedly runs an illegal placement agency, Ashok Chand, deputy commissioner of police (crime), said. Ahmed was arrested on May 5 from Shakurpur when he allegedly struck a deal with a decoy customer to sell one of the minor girls. She was promised a side role in a Bollywood film.
The accused told the police that there are at least six brokers and agents operating in Assam, West Bengal and the Indo-Bangladesh border who procure minor children on the pretext of providing them better lives in Delhi. The children are handed over to the illegal placement agency called Babita Enterprises. “We have identified five out of the six brokers. Babita’s husband Praveen is the main accused who has fled to Punjab. Once we nab him we will get the names of other agents too,” said an officer.
Babita was apprehended later and the remaining six girls and two boys aged between 11-15 were rescued with the help of the NGO Shakti Vahini and a police team led by additional DCP P S Khuswah. The agency paid Rs 20-25,000 to procure them. The minors were then sold to residents or small manufacturing units for Rs 30,000. The agency demanded one year’s salary of the kids as advance. Once they got the money, they never paid a penny to the children or their parents. The kids had no contact with their parents for the past three years,” said the officer.
The traffickers followed two different modules. “Children between the ages of 11-15 were placed in domestic households. Those above 15, especially girls, were sold off in Delhi and Haryana. Girls brought from Bangladesh were promised jobs in modeling agencies. Extreme poverty often led their parents to accept the agents’ propositions,” said an officer.
Crime branch officers said that a number of placement agencies in the Shakurpur area are now under their radar. “Most of them have no licenses and there are repeated complaints against them from NGOs. We are planning to approach the child and women welfare department to find solutions”, said the officer.
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