DEVESH PANDEY IN THE HINDU JULY 5 , 2011
Small-time trafficking agents have turned into wealthy owners of so-called domestic agencies in Capital
The vicious network of human traffickers has spread unchecked over the years, putting lives of hundreds of young women, minor girls and boys in peril and turning small-time trafficking agents into wealthy owners of so-called domestic help placement agencies in the Capital.
These facts have been highlighted with the occasional arrests of people who bring in girls, mostly belonging to poverty-struck remote tribal regions of Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar. The latest case in point is that of Seva Bharti Sanstha president Shiv Ram, 40, who was arrested for allegedly raping a young woman brought from Jharkhand along with his accomplices. The accused also ran a domestic help agency.
A detailed report on the present human trafficking trade in the city, recently submitted to Delhi Police Crime Branch by Assam Police (Special Branch) officer Anand Kumar Bania for action, paints a dreadful picture of how gangs have been running unscrupulous domestic help placement agencies by exploiting the victims. The report has identified nearly 40 such agencies being run by human traffickers in the city. Owners of such agencies were earlier workers, after which they graduated into trafficking agents and then established their own networks.
They grab salaries of the victims, sell them off and force them into prostitution. A large number of victims are minors and some orphans, says the report. According to the report, most owners are from Assam, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, and they operate in connivance with local elements. The local agents are from the source areas of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. They get huge commissions from owners, but there are some who get cheated themselves.
After taking custody of the girls, the agency owners keep them in confinement in unhygienic conditions for days. The girls are threatened, beaten up and some even sexually abused. Private guards are employed for the job. The victims are also prevented from communicating with relatives back home.
The money generated in the process goes into the pockets of such owners. Salaries of most victims are usurped by them, and many are even sold off in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir for various purposes, including marriage. Some of the trafficked girls and boys who died after being trafficked were secretively cremated by the gangs, the report states.
While identifying such placement agencies, the report also reveals names of hundreds of trafficked victims. An agency run by one Munna Choudhry, against whom two arrest warrants have been issued by an Assam court, is alleged to have under him over 240 persons only from Assam. He is also alleged to have sexually abused several women by keeping them as wives and then deserting them. Many of his agents have also been identified. Another agency operating in North-West Delhi is alleged to have under it 275 trafficked people.