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Jharkhand teen leads cops to job agency

Shakti Vahini 567

By AMBIKA PANDIT IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

NEW DELHI: All of 17 years old, a tribal girl from Jharkhand’s Khunti district—a belt affected by Maoist violence—led Delhi Police and an anti-human trafficking team from her home state to the placement agency in Taimoor Nagar in south Delhi on Friday.

A victim of bonded labour, she was not just denied her wages but the owners of the placement agency also took away her certificates documenting her educational growth. Another girl, who is 14 and from the same district, was rescued on May 5 by volunteers of NGO Shakti Vahini from Kashmere Gate ISBT. She had been beaten by her employers in Chandigarh.

The two girls are examples of a worrying trend. More and more girls are being lured in by traffickers from areas suffering Maoist violence to Delhi and other metros by the promise of a better life. These two girls will, however, leave for their native state on Monday.

“I came to Delhi with a few girls who already worked here hoping to get work based on basis of my Class X result and the short course I had done in the hospitality sector. I was shocked when the man tried to place me in a job as a domestic worker. He took away my documents and, when I refused to take this job, hired me to work in his office. He never paid me the promised salary of Rs 7,000. I finally fled to my village in February and filed a case against him with the labour department,” she told TOI.

Aradhana Singh, the police officer in charge of AHTU in Khunti district and here to take the girls home, said most people don’t complain when girls go missing because they fear attacks from the Maoists who may see them as police informers. Social activists from NGO Diya Sewa Sansthan from Jharkhand said in 13 years just about 360 FIRs have been registered in trafficking cases and only in one case a trafficker has been sentenced to a jail term.

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