NEW DELHI: The rescue of seven girls from West Bengal, after a raid on March 16 in various placement agencies in northwest Delhi and the subsequent rescue of several girls from four other states of India in May from the red-light areas of the Capital has led the Delhi Police to begin a 24-hour check on various trains arriving from Bengal, Jharkhand and the entire northeast.
These raids – without prior information – were first mooted by the NGOs. The Delhi Police has decided to hold talks with their Kolkata counterparts on the issue. The NGOs working against child trafficking have long been demanding a more “proactive and joint” action from the cops of all states.
“I have instructed by GRP staff to keep an eye on each of the children in some specific trains from east, northeast and south India. The whole idea is to ensure we nab the traffickers and rescue the children before they get mingled with the city’s population making it all the more difficult to nab and rescue them,” said Sanjay Bhatia, additional DCP (railways).
According to a reply to a Lok Sabha question, filed by the state crime records bureau on March 15 this year, a total of 7917 minor girls were “untracked” till 2011 from across India and believed to be in capital. Similarly, 3311 minor boys are missing from West Bengal alone, while another 2149 adult females were untracked till the end of last year.
When contacted, an officer of Kolkata CID department said they had begun random checks on trains leaving for the Capital. “We have started the exercise about a month back. But I have no qualms in admitting that the drive has not been satisfactory so far. Only a greater coordination with Delhi, UP and Jharkhand police can control this menace,” said an officer.
Cops in Kolkata and Delhi said they had zeroed in on two persons identified as Raj and Raju, who operate from the railway stations in and around Kolkata. A Delhi police team will be in the city soon to coordinate with Kolkata Police and nab the duo.
Sources in Delhi Police Anti Human Trafficking Unit said the girls, mostly, assemble at the Sealdah, Howrah, Guwahati and Ranchi railway stations and board trains like the Poorva Express, Kalka Mail and even Toofan Express and Jharkhand SK Express.
“This year alone, we have identified over a hundred cases of women trafficking from North 24 Parganas, Nadia, Malda and Coochbehar. We have over 500 untraced cases in last few years. We are also on the lookout for groups of girls arriving suspiciously in these trains at the New Delhi and Old Delhi stations. However, such raids have their limitations and constraints. Hence, we are still working on the finer details of carrying out these surprise checks,” said an AHTU official.
Shakti Vahini coordinator Rishi kant, who has been working on the issue for several years, said: “There are over 10,000 children missing from east India according to data provided in the Parliament last year most of whom use the rail network. We want cops to note down addresses of the girls arriving in the Capital for jobs. They can then check these addresses to find if those are genuine. Strict action against dubious agencies, which sell these girls in Haryana as brides, should be taken.”