Tribal girls trafficked from Jharkhand could be forced into pornography to cater to a global demand for their dark complexion, police and activists have said, highlighting the ordeal of thousands of women preyed upon by organised cartels in the state.
Both police and activists also cited revelations by rescued victims and growing evidence to claim that there was a strong possibility of traffickers being involved in the business of making pornographic films which are then sold to adult websites.
Thousands of tribal girls, most of them minors, are trafficked from Jharkhand’s villages to bigger cities across the country every year to work as domestic help and sex slaves. These children are often subjected to physical and sexual torture, leading to serious ailments and even death at times.
The Criminal Investigation Department of Jharkhand police says the number of children who went missing from the state since 2005 stands at 3,838 and 1,281 children remain untraced since the same year.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, only 37 were trafficked in 2014 but NGOs claim that at least 10,000 children are trafficked from Jharkhand every year.
A tribal girl, who was trafficked from Jharkhand’s Khunti in 2013, had alleged that she was gang-raped in New Delhi and that the offenders had video-graphed the act. In July 2015, three minor Jharkhand girls who were held captive in Ghaziabad were shown pornography and put on sale as sex workers over WhatsApp.
The activists fear that these incidents may just be the tip of an iceberg.
The internet is flooded with pornographic content with tags such as “Jharkhand maid”, “Jharkhand village girl”, “Adivasi village girl” and more, they said, which hint that traffickers were pushing tribal girls into acting in pornographic videos.
“There is a nexus of agents who are forcing Jharkhand girls into flesh trade as well as pornography,” said Ghaziabad deputy superintendent of police Ranvijay Singh, who had led Operation Smile, a mass child rescue campaign.
Anti-human trafficking activist, Rishi Kant, who helped rescue three Jharkhand girls in Ghaziabad, also said there is a strong possibility that the girls are being pushed into pornography since the demand for dark complexioned girls is very high in the international porn market and traffickers might be making easy money through it.
Activist Baijnath Kumar said that some of the rescued girls have alleged that they were stripped and video graphed at placement agencies in Delhi before being hired as domestic help.
“Wonder where in this world there is a criterion to get the would-be domestic help stripped and video graphed before being hired,” Kumar said.
The victims, he said, hardly know anything about the porn websites and how their videos could be misused.
Jharkhand police, however, say they have not come across any such case wherein a rescued girl has admitted to being video-graphed for pornographic purpose.
“Any person who comes across any such case should immediately inform us… We will work on it,” Sampat Meena, inspector general (organised crime), said.
Rakesh Sengar of Bachpan Bachao Andolan said that in the recent past, condoms and pornographic film CDs have been recovered from various placement agencies in Delhi.
“Several shabby beauty parlours have come up in Delhi in recent past. These parlours should come under scanner,” Sengar said.