Engineer held for human trafficking

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PUBLISHED IN THE TIMES OF INDIA – NEW DELHI RAJ SHEKHAR AND SOUMREET BHATTACHARYA – TNN 10 DECEMBER 2013

A major interstate trafficking racket has been busted and four traffickers—three women and an engineer—arrested. Two of the four persons trafficked, whose inputs are available with police, have been rescued.

“Radha (30) was arrested from Meerut and Sonia arrested from Kotla Mubarakpur in south Delhi. Sapna Gaur (25) and Gaurav Gaur, who has a degree from Punjab Technical University, have been arrested from Patel Nagar in west Delhi,” said a senior official with the anti-human trafficking unit.

A West Bengal CID team led by Sharbari Bhattacharya and NGO Shakti Vahini began operations on Friday. One of the rescued persons, who is just 15 years old, managed to call up her parents from Meerut using a mobile phone belonging to one of her customers. They gave her the number of a police officer from the anti-human trafficking unit to whom she narrated her ordeal.

“On Friday, Delhi Police and our team rushed there and rescued her with help of local police,” Rishi Kant from Shakti Vahini said.

The girl was brought to Delhi and she gave police several leads. A raid was carried out and Sonia was arrested. Police then began to work on another input about a young woman holed up in G B Road. On Tuesday afternoon, a trap was laid in Patel Nagar in which a decoy was to hand over a girl to a pimp.

Sapna and Gaurav were the arrested and they spilled the beans regarding the whereabouts of the woman in G B Road. A raid was conducted with help of Kamla Market police and she was rescued.

While the teenager was traded for Rs 40,000 to the traffickers, Sapna and Gaurav received Rs 60,000 for this woman who was also from West Bengal and was 23 years of age. During interrogations, the Gaurs revealed the two were part of a deal arranged by their contacts in Kolkata. They were supposed to get a third woman as part of this deal.

Members of the NGO added that the teenager was traded to Sonia who took her to Meerut and gave her to Radha, who runs a brothel there. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old was kept in the Patel Nagar house of the Gaurs for a few days before being taken to the brothel in G B Road. “I was made to do housework during my stay at their house since Sapna was pregnant at that time. I would be beaten and made to drink beer by Gaurav if I refused,” she said in her complaint to police.

Two more contacts, identified as Rajesh and Anuradha Sardar, were arrested in Kolkata a few days ago and they had provided police with tips regarding the network.

The 15-year-old had fallen in love with Raja(24) who was from her village in Khargachi in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas. He had promised to marry her saying he worked at a big firm in the capital. “I was attracted by the way he carried himself and the promises he made,” she said. The girl said her father owned a small business and her mother was a housewife. They both trusted Raja and let her accompany him to Delhi. But Raja, who had trapped and trafficked at least 50 girls and women from the state, left her in the hands of the Gaurs in July and disappeared. Sapna would thrash her whenever she asked to go home. “You have been sold here and you cannot speak of it,” she said. She said that a few days later she was sent off to Meerut where she was sexually abused.

The other, 23-year-old, survivor came to Delhi after being promised work by a neighbour. She needed money to look after her son in Madhyamgram near Kolkata. Her husband had divorced her earlier this year.

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