Battered Khunti girl rescued


New Delhi, Nov. 22: All she remembers is that she was working as a domestic help for about a week in a three-storied house with 10 to 12 members.

Thankfully now, 15-year-old Payel (name changed) is going back home to Khunti, thanks to a couple of Good Samaritans who found her crying on the streets of Mayur Vihar, Delhi, on October 23, battered and bruised, and handed her over to the police.

“It was extremely difficult to trace Payel’s village,” said police sub-inspector Aradhana Singh, head of the anti-trafficking unit in Khunti, who is leading a team from Jharkhand that reached Delhi yesterday to take her back home, along with four other girls who had also been kidnapped from the state.

“She can’t tell the address, but it turns out that her village is in a Maoist-infested hamlet in the interiors of Khunti,” said the policewoman who has pieced together a likely chain of events that led to Payel’s abduction to Delhi.

Payel was at a village fair near her home in Khunti when three women picked her up and put her on a bus to Ranchi.

From there, she was brought to Delhi by train. Days later, she found herself employed as a domestic help in an east Delhi house.

On October 23, a few local residents spotted her on the streets of Mayur Vihar and brought her to the police station from where she was transferred to Snehalaya, a shelter home for girls in north Delhi.

“As a domestic help, Payel was made to do household chores for over 12 hours a day. She was abused and beaten up if she did not follow orders. But she is very confused and, therefore, unable to provide details of the women who had brought her to Delhi,” said Singh.

Based on her conversations with Payel, Singh believes, she was abducted a fortnight before October 23 when she was brought to the Mayur Vihar police station.

Payel, who dropped out of school after her father and siblings died of illness, can’t believe she will be going home. “I want to go to my mother. She is alone there… just like I am here,” she said.

Authorities at Snehalaya, where Payel has been staying for a month, said she keeps to herself. “Most of the time she cries,” said an employee.

Sub-inspector Singh said they had traced four other girls who had been abducted from Jharkhand and had been employed as domestic helps in various parts of Delhi. While two of the girls are from Chaibasa, the others are from Khunti and Gumla.

One of them was brought to Delhi by the network operated by Panna Lal Mahto, a trafficking kingpin who was arrested from Delhi last month.

Now, all of them, including Payel, will be heading for Ranchi on Monday. Their families would be asked to pick them once they reached the state capital, said Singh.

Those working for NGO Shakti Vahini, that helped the police team track the victims in Delhi, rued the fact that trafficking of young tribal girls from Jharkhand was a continuing menace.

“It does not seem the Jharkhand government is serious (about curbing trafficking). Otherwise, the district administrations would be much more vigilant at exit points to keep a check on such cases,” said Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini.


21 states, UTs join Centre in fight against honour killings


NEW DELHI: Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh have joined 18 other states to empower the Centre to bring a legislation against honour killings, in what could be a turnaround moment for the effort to curb the powers of caste and community bodies which seek to be the final arbiter of social mores and arrogate unto themselves the power of judiciary.

In its affidavit to the Supreme Court the Union law ministry has said besides Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan,, West Bengal and UTs like Chandigarh, Dadra and Nager Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshwadeep and Puducherry, have supported the “Prohibition of interference with the freedom of matrilineal alliances bill.”

Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh — all marked by poor sex ratio and high incidence of gender inequality — have been among the sites of gruesome instances of honour killings in the recent past. For them to sign up to the campaign against honour killings is significant because of the political class’s diffidence thus far about taking on powerful khaps. All the three states opposed an earlier move for a central legislation against against honour killings. In fact the group of ministers set up by UPA on honour killing could barely meet a couple of times in the absence of unanimity on the issue.

The development is also significant because states can be extremely reluctant to delegate their law making powers to the Centre on matters concerning law and order.

Law ministry’s affidavit, comes in response to a writ petition by Shakti Vahini which is scheduled to be heard on November 19.

The proposed bill drafted by the law commission in 2012, was expected to check the high-handed and unwarranted interference by caste assemblies or panchayats with sagotra, inter-caste or inter-religious marriages. In view of the rising number of incidents where young couples were excommunicated, tortured and killed for marrying within the gotra under orders from the Khap panchayats, the law commission recommended a threshold bar on congregation of people for condemning a marriage on the basis that the marriage has dishonoured caste, community or brought disrepute to the family or community concerned.

The penal provision for such unlawful assembly was proposed at imprisonment of six months to a year and a fine of Rs 10,000. The bill elaborated that criminal intimidation of the couple or their families would invite imprisonment ranging between one to seven years and a fine of Rs 30,000. The bill also proposes to make all offences cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable.



As per the MHA’s scheme of Comprehensive Scheme for Coordinating the National and International Response to Human Trafficking including Strengthening Law Enforcement Response in India through capacity enhancement  of Responders including Training of Trainers Programme and establishment of Integrated Anti-Human Trafficking Units, Anti-Human Trafficking units have been set up in 11 Districts of Delhi and the Crime Branch.   Crime Branch is the Nodal Agency.  The Anti Human Trafficking Units have been tasked for  dealing with offences of human trafficking, ensuring an organized crime perspective, conducting rescue operations with the assistance of NGOs, ensuring a victim centric approach and for collection and development of an exhaustive database.

  The Anti-Human Trafficking Units are headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police and consists of one Inspector and other police personnel.

In order to sensitize the police personnel  involved in combating the organized crime  of human trafficking, a three day workshop was organized by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police.  40  police personnel consisting of Addl.DCsP, ACsP, Inspectors, and Sub-Inspectors working in the field  of Anti-Human Trafficking attended  the workshop.  The workshop  began with an inaugural lecture  by Dr. P.M. Nair, Addl. DGP/CRPF and an Expert on Anti-Human Trafficking.  He spoke about the Concept of Human Trafficking, Dimensions, Challenges and responses of the Law Enforcement  Agencies to Human Trafficking. The subsequent speakers in the workshop discussed  the role of  Law Enforcement Agencies & NGOs in prevention of Human Trafficking, Investigation Techniques of cases related to Human Trafficking, Law & Court Rulings on Trafficking, Prosecution of Trafficking Crimes, Scio-psychological issues in Anti-Human Trafficking, Rescue process – Cooperation between law enforcement agencies & NGO’s and  Post-Rescue Care & attention including rehabilitation: Role of Government agencies and other stake holders.  Apart from Dr. P.M. Nair, various other speakers in the workshop  were Smt. Garima Bhatnagar, Addl.C.P./Vigilance, Shri B.S. Joon, Director, Prosecution, Shri G.S. Goraya, Prosecutor, Dr. Achal Bhagat of Apollo Hospital and Sh. Ravi Kant of NGO, Shakti Vahini.

The concluding session was attended by Sh. Sandeep Goel, Joint Commissioner of Police/Crime, Dr. Praveen Kumari Singh, Director, MHA  and Smt. Vinita Aggarwal, Director, Ministry of Women & Child  Development.

4 minors among 5 girls rescued

Devesh K. Pandey

NEW DELHI: Five girls, including four minors, who were allegedly trafficked into the Capital from Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar have been rescued at New Delhi railway station by non-government organisation Shakti Vahini. The minor girls were produced before the Child Welfare Committee that sent them to Nirmal Chhaya.

Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini said three of the girls were rescued around 3-30 a.m. “One of them, who hails from Orissa, was first taken to Ranchi where she was criminally assaulted by one Kuldeep. The other two victims, one of whom is 20 years, are from Jharkhand. They were brought to the Capital from Ranchi by Kuldeep, who runs a placement agency,” he said, adding that the accused managed to escape. Kuldeep had brought the victims on the pretext of providing jobs to them.

The other two girls, who hail from Siwan in Bihar, were also rescued at New Delhi railway station around 5-30 a.m. The five were first produced before the Government Railway Police for necessary legal action. “We have sought proper assistance from the railway police in carrying out investigations as trafficking of minors through trains is on the rise,” said Mr. Kant, adding that efforts were being made to locate the placement agency being run by Kuldeep. Mr. Kant said in the past 45 days, the organisation has rescued 29 minors at New Delhi railway station. Among those rescued were two Bangladeshi boys, who were trafficked into the country and sent to the Capital on board the Poorva Express.