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Dramatic rescue of trafficking victim

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PUBLISHED IN THE STATESMAN

The West Bengal CID team, that had been stationed in Delhi since last week, and was losing hope of finding a 21-year-old trafficking victim who had gone missing from her village in South 24 Parganas, with the help of SSP Ghaziabad (UP Police) and NGO Shakti Vahini, on Tuesday managed to trace her. She had been sold to a brothel in the red light district of GB Road here.

The girl was rescued by the police team from the S3 coach of Kalka Mail from Ghaziabad Railway station while it was on its way to West Bengal, following a tip from sources.

“She was put on the train by her traffickers with a ticket to Howrah and Rs 10,000 in cash at around 6.40 am from Delhi Railway Station. We got a tip from an informer, after which we contacted the Ghaziabad SSP Mr Dharmendra, who acted swiftly and helped with the rescue,” said a West Bengal police official involved in the operation.

The girl went missing from her village in June following which an FIR was lodged by her family at Joy Nagar Police Station of South 24 Parganas district. The team arrived in Delhi last week after one of the girl’s customers at GB Road phoned her family about her location on her request.

After the successful rescue, she boarded another train, this time free and safe, to go to her home where her family and a baby boy wait for her.

“We intercepted her at Ghaziabad Station when the train started moving. We halted the train and rescued her at around 8.10 a m. West Bengal Police team accompanied her from there,” said SSP Ghaziabad Dharmendra Singh, who will be awarded with National Award for Anti-Trafficking for his performance under Operation Smile.

The traffickers and the brothel owners,feeling the heat and pressure, as several raids were conducted at different locations across Delhi by the team, found it wise to let go off the girl.

“It’s the first of its kind, as generally they kill the girls being searched by the police. We are still not sure if she was simply acquitted by her procurers or they had plans to get her off at some other station. Generally these people don’t let their investment go easily,” said a police official.

During their six-day operation, the West Bengal CID with help of Shakti Vahini and Kamla Market police station (under whose jurisdiction the red light district of GB Road falls), rescued four other women ‘by-chance’ from the same Brothel No.70 of GB Road on 4 October night.

“The night we raided brothel 70, the girl from a village in South 24 Parganas district, the one we were looking for, was transported to another hideout, perhaps in Rohini, where we conducted raids the same day,” said Mr Rishi Kant, activist from Shakti Vahini, who aided the team with the operation.

According to the girl, it took more than an hour in a car to reach Delhi Station, which makes the investigation team speculate that she was kept at a hideout in Rohini. A few weeks back some girls were rescued from the same hideout by a similar team led by Delhi Police and NGOs.

The team said they had firm information that the girl was sold at Brothel no.70 based on the background of the picture.

“In the picture used by the traffickers to auction her, there was a door with stickers and numbers on it. During our raid at Brothel No 70,we recognised that. This confirmed our information that she was sold there,” the CO of the west Bengal CID team told The Statesman. The girl will now be produced before a court in West Bengal, as the Delhi court refused to take cognigance citing the matter of jurisdiction.

Of the other four girls who were rescued in the process two are from West Bengal and two from Maharashtra.

The team rescued them from a small tunnel like structure hidden in the walls of the brothel. They are now at Nari Niketan, a shelter for women under the aegis of Tihar Jail.

 

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