Sheer presence of mind has come to the rescue of a 19-year-old tribal woman and four siblings in MP’s Singrauli district from falling prey to an inter-state trafficking racket, the police said on Wednesday.
Rita Agaria, a native of Bajauri village of the district, had almost fell prey to the racket operated by Kolkata-based temple priest Baldev Tiwari, 47, on September 11, police said. Sangita Sharma, of Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh, was helping Tiwari in running the racket.
Singrauli deputy SP (AJK) Kiran Kero said Sharma lived with parents in Bajauri before her marriage to a man from Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district.
In May, Sharma rang Agaria - the eldest of the five siblings – to ask if she was willing to marry Tiwari, a wealthy tribal man from Kolkata. Agaria initially refused the offer, but accepted it after Sharma told her that Tiwari will take her and her siblings to Kolkata after marriage and get them good job there.
After that Tiwari started to call Agaria on her cell phone regularly.
Tiwari recently informed Agaria that he would be coming to Singrauli to marry her and he then convinced her to come with siblings to Singrauli railway station on September 11.
Unmindful of the trap being laid by Tiwari, Agaria along with three sisters aged 12, 15 and 17 and brother aged 14 met Tiwari on September 11. From the railway station, he took them to a hotel in Morwa area.
“When Tiwari asked Agaria and her four siblings to stay with him at the hotel before their wedding the next day, she became suspicious. When the man introduced himself at the hotel reception as Baldev Tiwari, the tribal girl came to know that he was a Brahmin and not a tribal as told by Sangita. She sensed trouble and subsequently slipped out of the hotel with siblings,” police officer Kero told Hindustan Times on Wednesday.
The five siblings managed to escape to Waidhan town in the district and reported the matter to the police. The police swung into action and first registered a case of abduction and human trafficking against Tiwari and Sharma.
“Investigations have revealed that Tiwari is a key player of an inter-state human trafficking racket being operated from Kolkata. He was planning to push the tribal girl and her three sisters into prostitution in Kolkata and their brother into a menial’s job in the Bengal capital,” Kero said.
“We’re looking for Tiwari and also coordinating with Mirzapur district police to arrest Sharma, who could be just one of the many agents of the alleged human trafficking racket in Singrauli and neighbourhood,” he said.