MARCH 28, 2012
KOLKATA/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 red-light areas of the Capital, has led the Delhi Police to begin a 24-hour check on various trains arriving from Kolkata.
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” approach from the cops of two states.
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 “untraced” till 2011. Similarly, 3311 minor boys are missing from West Bengal, while another 2149 adult females were untraced 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 and Howrah railway stations and board Poorva Express, Kalka Mail and even Toofan 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 constraintsHence, we are still working on the finer details of carrying out these surprise checks,” said additional DCP (crime) Joy Tirkey.
NGO Co ordinator Rishi Kant ( Shakti Vahini ), who has been working on the issue for several years, said: “There are over 10,000 children missing from West Bengal according to data provided in the Parliament last year. 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.”