Hyderabad police bust trafficking ring that sells women, girls for ‘marriage’
Nine people, including two Bahrain nationals and two women, were arrested based on a complaint by a woman who said her daughter was married but sent back by her husband.india Updated: Nov 12, 2017 00:01 IST
The Hyderabad police on Friday arrested nine people, including two Bahrain nationals for their alleged involvement in international trafficking of women and minor girls for ‘marriage’.
A qazi (cleric), a lodge owner and five brokers, including two women were among the nine arrested in two separate raids in old city area, police said.
Deputy commissioner of police (south zone) V Satyanarayana said police were on lookout for the traffickers after a complaint from one Kulsum Begum on October 30 who said that a 50-year-old Bahraini national named Mohamed Mahmood Abdul Rehman Mahmood had married her second daughter Sameena Begum (29) in May this year but sent her back later.
The marriage was performed by qazi Askar Ali Rafai at the city’s King Koti locality.
“After marriage they took her daughter to Bahrain, treated her as maid servant and after fulfilling their sexual desires they sent her back,” the DCP said.
A few days ago, Rehman Mahmood and his brother Yousuf Mahmood Abdul Rahman Mahmood Khairi came to Hyderabad again with the former trying to get married to a minor girl from Talabkatta area with the help of the same qazi.
But by then the police had increased their surveillance.
“Since we keep a strict vigil on the agents and aazis in the city, they started operating from the outskirts. In the present case, the qazi was planning to solemnize the marriage at Tolichowki on the outskirts of the city on Friday,” the police officer said.
The Bahraini nationals were staying at a nearby lodge named Safa Tower owned by Mohammed Barkathullah Sharif.
Based on a tip off, the police raided the lodge and arrested the Bahrain nationals, the qazi and lodge owner and rescued the girl.
“A case has been registered under sections 370 (offence of buying and disposing of any person as a slave) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code against the accused,” Satyanarayana said.
In another incident, the police arrested five brokers who were involved in trafficking of a 14-year-old girl three years ago.
The arrested were identified as Bipasha Bee, Rahseeda Bee, Naser Bin Mahmood, Fathe Bin Mahmood and Salman.
The DCP said a woman Salma Begum lodged a complaint with the police on November 9 that she got her minor daughter married off to an Omani Sheikh named Sagharoun Salim Abdallah (64) in October 2014 after being persuaded by the brokers with links with Arab Sheiks. They convinced her that if she got her daughter married off to the Arab Sheik, all her financial problems would be solved.
“The Omani Sheik paid Rs 1 lakh to the agents, who pocketed Rs 40,000 and gave the remaining amount to the girl’s family. The agents also manipulated the documents to show that the girl was not a minor and managed to get her passport,” the DCP said.
After spending 10 days with the girl, the Omani national went back to his country and arranged a visa for his minor bride after 15 days. There, the girl was allegedly sexually harassed and tortured. In March this year, she returned to India and refused to go back to Oman.
“When her husband started threatening her, the girl went back in July this year and since then her life had become miserable. When she narrated her woes to her mother over phone, the latter lodged a complaint with us. We arrested the agents and are on the lookout for the qazi and others,” Satyanarayana added.
Hyderabad has emerged as a go-to place for “virgin brides” in the age group of 12-14 years. Most of the girls are from extremely poor families and their parents are lured by the money rich Arabs are willing to pay for such marriages.
In September last year, police arrested eight sheiks from Qatar, a Mumbai-based qazi and scores of brokers, besides hotel owners. A week later, the chief qazi of Hyderabad, who was the alleged kingpin of the trafficking ring, was arrested.