This story is from archives and was originally published a year ago.
BD Hans, a teacher by profession and resident of Sector 15, became the latest victim of the placement mafia active in the National Capital Region (NCR). Just two days after he hired a domestic help from a Delhi-based agency after paying Rs 8,000, the maid ran away without notice and the agency refused to take responsibility.
On Wednesday, Hans filed a police complaint against the agency. During investigation, the police found that the address of the agency was wrong. Several other residents have fallen prey to the mafia and become victims of robbery, burglary and kidnapping. It has been seen that in most cases, neither the agency nor the employer get police verification of their staff.
According to police records, only 24 criminal cases have been filed against domestic servants in the last one year. A majority of residents prefer not to report the matter to the police to avoid legal hassles.
Owing to high number of working couples, the demand for domestic helps, both male and female, is on the rise in Gurgaon. Taking advantage of the gap in demand and supply, a number of small-time and unregistered agencies have cropped up. Agency owners find this an easy way to earn quick money and encash on the shortage, often by roping in people with criminal backgrounds.
Gurgaon has a floating population of about 5 lakh industrial and construction workers, maids, domestic helps, drivers, gardeners, carpenters, masons and others.
According to an estimate, more than 150 placement agencies based in South Delhi and Gurgaon supply staff.
During a drive launched by the Gurgaon police in May 2010, in collaboration with private organisation Hamari Suraksha, a total of 1 lakh people were registered.
The police, however, said they had merely recorded names and addresses of the migrants but their credentials were not verified. The mafia operates freely and agency owners keep changing their phone numbers. They are also known to get mobile phone connections on the basis of forged documents. As they do not have permanent offices, it is easy for them to wind up and shift base, leaving residents in the lurch.
The mafia has tie-ups in Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal from where they source employees. They form a gang and give pamphlets with newspapers.
Maheshwari Khanna, a manager with Air India, said, "I have been struggling to get my money back from an agent for the last six months. The agent had signed an agreement but it was all fake. I had given an advance of Rs 25,000 for 11 months but the maid left in a few days. Neither did the agent send a substitute, nor did he return my money."
DCP (Crime) Maheshwar Dayal said, "We have received many complaints by residents but people still do not get a police verification done. It is only after tragedy strikes that they get alert. It is sad that uneducated criminals fool educated high-profile people."