In a massive crackdown against organised trafficking rackets, police teams from Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have arrested 10 traffickers and rescued 20 minors in the last few days.
A team of Chhattisgarh police, which is camping in Delhi for the last 10 days, has a list of 33 children who were kidnapped from Bilaspur district in the state and brought to Delhi on the pretext of being provided jobs.
So far, the Chhattisgarh police have rescued 16 minors, and arrested 10 traffickers from various placement agencies in the Capital. “We raided three placement agencies in west Delhi’s Moti Nagar and Shakurpur areas.
A notorious trafficker, who is believed to have been involved in over a dozen cases, has been arrested. She (the trafficker) has given us details of several children who are working here as domestic helps. We are coordinating the rescue operation with NGO Shakti Vahini,” said Mallika Bannerjee, an inspector with the Chhattisgarh police.
Bannerjee said many children they rescued were forced to live in single congested rooms and often beaten up. “From a placement agency in Shakurpur, we have rescued six girls aged 12-13 years. Initially, we had information about four minors only, but our investigations later revealed that there were more children. We believe that agents bring these children to Delhi and sell them for around `30,000,” she added.
Her team, Banerjee said, has names of 33 minors, who were brought to Delhi and sold to these placement agencies. The placement agency later sent them to Jammu, Panipat and Himachal Pradesh.
A similar rescue operation was carried out by the anti-human trafficking unit of Khunti district of Jharkhand, in which the police managed to rescue four minors, including three girls. “We have rescued a girl from Vikapsuri and two others from Noida. Another boy has been rescued from Shakurpur,” said Aradhana Singh, head of anti-trafficking unit of Khunti.
The operations so far have been carried out around west Delhi with representatives of both the state police forces alleging little or no cooperation from the Delhi Police. “After the arrest of well-known trafficker, Panna Lal Mahto, it was clear that several illegal placement agencies were operating from Shakurpur in west Delhi. Despite that, the local police are have not taken any action.
When police team from other states conduct raids, they get very little cooperation from the west Delhi police. The matter should be brought to the notice of the crime branch and Union home ministry,” said Ravikant, president of Shakti Vahini NGO.