Posts by NNLRJ INDIA

NATIONAL NETWORK OF LAWYERS FOR RIGHTS AND JUSTICE (NNLRJ) is a law initiative of Shakti Vahini

Didi used CCTVs to record my every move, fed me after seeing footage, says ‘torture’ victim

By The Indian Express:

The child, employed as a domestic help in Faridabad over the last three years, was rescued Wednesday when she attempted to climb into the neighbor's balcony to escape further torture.

“One time, in anger, didi took off all my clothes and threw hot water from the geyser on my back. Didi hit me on the head with a rolling pin and split it open. She hit me on my hand with loha (iron) or the rolling pin. She tied my hands behind my back with the doggy belt and my legs with a chunni. Then she tied a polythene on my mouth to stop me from breathing.” This is the statement of a 13-year-old domestic help to the Haryana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The child, employed as a domestic help in Faridabad over the last three years, was rescued Wednesday when she attempted to climb into the neighbour’s balcony to escape further torture. She fell off and landed on the balcony of an empty flat below. She was rescued five hours late after her employer alerted guards, police said.

The child came to Faridabad from Patna in 2014, and started working as a domestic help at the flat of 22-year-old Sneha Yadav, an engineering student at Manav Rachna University. Sneha was granted bail by a district court on Friday. The girl’s parents, who reached Delhi on Thursday, work in the mines of Sneha’s father, Sanjay Yadav, in Patna. They hadn’t seen their daughter for the last three years — a period during which she was allegedly tortured and beaten.

The alleged ordeal inside house C-1101, however, remained hidden from residents of Kanishka Towers in Faridabad’s Sector 34. The flat is located on the top floor, and only two of the five other flats in the tower are occupied.

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Officials from the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights at the building in Faridabad. (Express Photo)

“She (Sneha) never seemed interested in interacting, so we did not make an effort either. We never heard anything from the flat, but that could be because the child’s screams were muffled,” said a resident who did not wish to be named.

However, another resident claimed, “Supervisors and guards knew about it, and they tried to convince the woman to stop troubling the girl. Apparently, she promised to send her back to Patna, so they dropped the matter.”

Narender Kumar Sharma, executive member of the residents’ welfare association, said, “Sneha kept to herself. Nobody from here has been to her flat.” While the guards refused to comment, the supervisor, Devender, said, “We do not interfere in what happens in residents’ homes. I didn’t know this was going on, nor did anyone approach me.”
Although the child was often seen walking her employer’s dog or going to buy groceries, nobody had spoken to her. “I noticed injury marks on her hand once, but didn’t ask her about it,” said an employee at a local shop.

In her statement to the State Commission, the child said, “If I ever spoke to anyone while coming or going from the lift, she (Sneha) would get angry.” Unable to confide in anyone, she spent the day doing “all the housework, cooking food, sweeping, mopping, washing dishes, washing clothes, bathing the dog and combing its fur”.

In her statement, she also said that “there were cameras all over didi’s house”. “She would check the cameras every evening, see what work had been done. Only after that would she give me food,” the girl said.

Police sources said a lot of the footage from the cameras is missing. Commissioner of Police Hanif Qureshi said, “The footage the cameras may or may not have captured is a matter of investigation.”

Recalling her escape bid, the child stated: “That day, didi had been hitting me since night. My head had been spinning since morning but she forced me to work. When she was in the bathroom, I decided to jump from the 11th floor and run away. But she saw me and grabbed my hand. I slipped and fell on the 10th-floor balcony.”

She was rescued by residents, who took her to the police station, and then to the Child Welfare Committee. While Faridabad Police is preparing to challenge the accused’s bail order in a sessions court, the girl has been admitted to a hospital. She has also been put under police protection so that she is not coerced into changing her statement.

“The child is in desperate need of medical attention. We will not hand over her custody to her parents. This appears to be a case of bonded labour, and they were the ones who put her into it,” Bal Krishan Goel, a member of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said.

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SSB’S ROAD MAP TO CURB HUMAN TRAFFICKING YIELDS FOUR ARRESTS

By The Pioneer:

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In order to curb the menace of human trafficking from across the Indo-Nepal border, the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has drawn a roadmap along with all stakeholders, including the NGOs, working against human trafficking.

Within a of span of 10 days since the road map was put into place on April 10, the SSB was able to nab four human traffickers and rescue 12 minors from the clutches of human traffickers on three different locations on Indo-Nepal border while crossing over to India.

“Human trafficking is just another name of modern day slavery, wherein the victim involved are forced, coerced and deceived into labour and sexual exploitations, the figures are scary. A workshop was also conducted by SSB in this regard and now this has yielded results by virtue of showing tremendous coordination,” said Archana Ramasundaram, Director General, SSB.

Not only this, the SSB has also signed a MoU with National Skill Development Council (NSDC) for providing skill development and better opportunities to the victims and potential victims so that can they lead an independent life .

As per the road map, emphasis is on use of technology and softwares such as Impulse for better monitoring of the cases and also keeping track of victims, their rehabilitation and prosecution of offenders.

Nepal is primarily considered a country of origin — a source for human trafficking. Victims of trafficking from Nepal move to India or the Middle East or even to Europe.  As per Nepal’s official figures, the Ministry of Women Children and social Welfare of Nepal had identified 26 of Nepal’s 75 districts as trafficking prone. Majority is from the hills, ethnic and schedule castes.

India shares 1751 kms  of porous borders with Nepal and 699 kms of porous borders with Bhutan and the SSB is mandated by Central Government to guard Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders. After the deployment of SSB on these borders human trafficking has been curtailed to considerable extent.

“The common place understanding of trafficking as akin to prostitution is often responsible for general ignorance to the other forms of exploitations such as child labour, slavery, adoption, organ trading, sex tourism etc. the complexity of the phenomenon, its multidimensional nature, its rapid spread worldwide and confusion surrounding the concept has made urgent and essential need to understand the various aspect of the phenomenon,” the DG said.

The workshop was intended to bring along all the stakeholders fighting against the menace of human trafficking to a common platform from across Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan Border and also in the area of responsibility of SSB which extends up to 15 kms from the International border.

 

Bengal girl escapes traffickers’ clutches

By DNA:

The 16-year-old had been abducted a month ago and was about to be forced into prostitution; she was re-united with her family on Eid

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This Eid has turned out to be nothing less than miraculous for a West Bengal family that was reunited with their 16-year-old daughter Nazia (name changed), over a month after she went missing from home.

Nazia was abducted by some local men in 24 Parganas district. The month of horrors saw the young girl face torture, sexual harassment, starvation, and the dreadful possibility of being forced into prostitution.

But showing commendable courage, the teen managed to escape the clutches of her tormentors.

“She was trapped by the lure of a better future. Some local men abducted her from near her school and took her to Mumbai. She was assaulted, left to starve, and was about to be pushed into prostitution. But now, she has been saved and has returned home on the occasion of Eid,” Rishikant from NGO Shakti Vahini said.

Nazia had been confined to a flat on the first-floor in outer Delhi.

The entire episode came to light last week, when she jumped off a window. She injured her leg in the process but still kept running.

After a few meters, she bumped into a stranger and pleaded for help. She then called her father from his phone, who immediately alerted a senior police officer and the girl’s rescue was initiated without delay.

The matter was then brought to the notice of Delhi Police and NGO Shakti Vahini, after which the premises were raided. Another girl, who was abducted from Haryana, was also recovered from there. Recalling her ordeal, Nazia told the police that after her abduction, she was taken to Mumbai, where she was employed as a bar dancer. She was then brought to Delhi and was soon to be shifted to GB Road.

A case under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping) and 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person) has been registered.

Counselling sessions will be arranged for both girls to help them overcome the trauma and lead normal lives, an officer said.

Woman trafficked from Assam rescued

By The Hindu:

A 35-year-old woman, who was allegedly trafficked from Assam after being promised a job in a private company, was rescued from a flat at Unitech Residency in Sector 33 here.

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The woman was working as a domestic help in the flat. She had allegedly not been paid her dues and was also not allowed to step outside the house. She has also accused her employer of not giving her enough food.

No legal action

SHO, Sadar Bazar, Inspector Vijay Yadav said no case has been registered in this regard since the woman refused to initiate legal action against her employer or the placement agency.

The woman was rescued on August 18 after Shakti Vahini, an NGO working for trafficked women, received information from Seema Suraksha Bal in Assam that a resident of Chirang district was taken to Gurugram and held captive in a house. The woman had purportedly called her family to tell them she was in Gurugram, but could not give the complete address. She had borrowed a phone from someone in the housing society to make the call. The NGO then contacted the police, which mounted technical surveillance and rescued the woman.

Salary Reduced

“The woman told our counsellor that an acquaintance in Assam had lured her with a job offer in Delhi and put her in touch with one Puja. Once she was in Delhi, Puja told her that she would be given a job in a company as a sweeper, but instead placed her as a domestic help. Puja took ₹25,000 from the employer as commission. Her salary was fixed at ₹7,000 per month, but for two months, she was paid only ₹5,000,” said Nazish from Shakti Vahini.

The police summoned Puja, who runs a placement agency at Kotla Mubarakpur in Delhi, but was let off after the victim refused to pursue legal action in the case. The woman has been moved to a shelter home in Delhi and her family has been informed.

 

Assam slips in rescuing kids – 93 children trafficked in 2016 untraced

By The Telegraph:

Assam’s performance in tracking its trafficked children and women was dismal in 2016, compared to 2015, data tabled in the Lok Sabha has revealed.

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The data, tabled recently, reveals that 130 children were trafficked from Assam in 2016, of whom only 37 were rescued. The fate of 93 remains unknown. Comparatively, of the 129 children trafficked in 2015, 101 were rescued, a success rate of 78 per cent compared to 28 per cent in 2016.

The trend in terms of rescue of women is similar. The data says 163 women were trafficked from the state in 2016, of whom only 63 were rescued, a success rate of 38 per cent, whereas in 2015, 187 women were trafficked from the state of whom 137 were rescued, a success rate of 73 per cent.

Trafficking is a serious problem in Assam. The state had recorded the highest number of human trafficking cases in the country in 2015 and continues to be among the top trafficking zones.

Union minister of state for home affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir had told the Lok Sabha recently that police and public order are state subjects. As such, the registration, investigation and prevention of human trafficking is the responsibility of the state government. “However, the Centre supplements the efforts of the state governments by issuing advisories from time to time and providing financial assistance for setting up anti-human trafficking units at the district level. Besides, training is provided to state police personnel to check trafficking. The Centre has also signed an MoU on prevention of human trafficking with Bangladesh and UAE,” he said.

Rishi Kant, spokesperson for Delhi-based anti-trafficking NGO Shakti Vahini, said a large number of women and children from Assam and other northeastern states are trafficked to different states in the country. Hence inter-state collaboration of law enforcement agencies and civil society groups needs to be strengthened further to trace and rescue trafficked children and women and to arrest the persons involved in such crimes.

Most of the children from the state end up at illegal placement agencies in Delhi and Mumbai, which employ them as labourers and even push some in the flesh trade.

A police source said most of the children and women are lured by traffickers with the promise of a better life. The traffickers mostly target poor families from marginalised communities and those rendered homeless by floods and ethnic violence.

In 2014, the Supreme Court, during the hearing of a PIL by NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan, had specifically asked Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh governments to trace the whereabouts of 12,591 children missing since 2011. The NGO, led by Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, had sought the court’s intervention in tracing the missing children.

According to a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report, 7,788 children went missing from Assam between 2009 and 2014. Of them, 3,569 children were traced.

A published report of the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights says 4,754 children, who went missing in the state between 2012 and October 2014, have remained untraced.

Assam trafficking figures present grim picture

By The Telegraph:

A total of 259 children from Assam were trafficked in the past two years.19.jpg

According to latest figures released by the Union ministry of women and child development, 129 and 130 children of the state have been trafficked during 2015 and 2016 respectively.

These figures present a disturbing picture. The situation on the ground, however, could be far worse as many cases of trafficking go unreported.

Though the cases of child trafficking in Assam have remained almost same in the past two years, the cases of women trafficking has shown a declining trend in the state in 2016 compared to the previous year, which is seen as a positive development.

The number of women trafficked from the state has come down to 163 in 2016 compared to 187 in 2015.

According to data for 2015, released by the National Crime Records Bureau, Assam has emerged as the trafficking hub of the country.

With 1,494 cases, the state accounts for 22 per cent of the total reported cases of trafficking across India.

Assam also has the highest number of child trafficking – 1,317 cases – which account for 38 per cent of the national figure.

The ministry of women and child development is implementing Ujjawala, which is a comprehensive scheme for the rescue, rehabilitation and re-integration of victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

Rishi Kant, a member of anti-trafficking NGO Shakti Vahini, described the decline in number of women trafficked from Assam as a positive sign. “It is an indication that the police, administration and NGOs working in this field have taken the issue seriously and are working in the right direction,” he said.

Shakti Vahini was involved in the rescue of women and children trafficked from Assam in Delhi and Haryana.

The number of women and children trafficked from other northeastern states is almost negligible as last year’s figures were in single digits, except in Manipur where 16 women were trafficked in 2016.

Business of prostitution an organized crime: Court

By TOI:

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A special court here has held that running brothels or prostitution business and procuring girls with the obvious intent of monetary gain forms part of a “continuing unlawful activity,” which is at the core of an organized crime committed either individually or as member of an organized crime syndicate.

Special judge J T Utpat upheld in a recent order the city police’s move to invoke the stringent provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Jayashree alias Kalyani Deshpande, an alleged sex racket operator. Deshpande was arrested after a sex racket was busted in Bhusari colony , a residential area in Kothrud in July last year. Deshpande’s aide was arrested after that and three girls were rescued from the premises.

In October last year, the police invoked MCOCA charges against Deshpande, and she is since lodged in judicial custody at Yerawada jail.

The court rejected her plea seeking discharge from the MCOCA offence and transfer of the case to a special court for Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act (PITA) offences. “We will move an appeal in the high court against the trial court’s order,” her lawyer Vidyadhar Koshe told TOI on Saturday .

Deshpande had argued that she had neither committed any organized crime nor was a member of an organized syndicate with a history of violence linked with monetary gain.

The cases against her were for offences under the PITA, which is a code in itself and offences under PITA were triable by a dedicated court for this enactment.

Also, she argued that PITA was a central enactment while MCOCA was a state enactment. As such, offences relating to PITA did not fall within the ambit of MCOCA.

 Special public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar had opposed the plea, arguing that in the last 10 years, 15 chargesheets under PITA were filed against the applicant accused and that the applicant is the leader of an organized crime syndicate that procures girls from Maharashtra and other states and runs prostitution business, besides maintaining themselves from the money thus earned.

The court referred to the definition of “continuing unlawful activity” under the MCOCA and observed that organized crime was nothing, but continuing unlawful activity either individually or jointly as member of a crime syndicate.

The court referred to a crime chart provided by the prosecution in relation to 15 cases against her and three and two cases against her aides, and held, “The accused is the head of an organized crime syndicate and she is involved in continuing unlawful activity . Prima facie, provisions of MCOCA are certainly applicable to the facts of the present case.”