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Human trafficking: Ferozepur woman ‘sold as sex slave’ in Oman rescued

She claims that around 30 women from Punjab are trapped in prostitution racket in Oman.

punjab Updated: Jun 27, 2018 20:20 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Human trafficking,sex slave,Punjab
She said travel agents in Punjab are running this racket in collusion with agents of Dubai and around two to three girls are being sent to Dubai on daily basis(HT FILE PHOTO )

A Ferozepur-based 39-year-old woman, who was sent to Dubai in April by a travel agent to work as a domestic help, has been rescued from Oman, where she was “sold as a sex slave.”

Talking to HT after meeting Amritsar Congress MP Gurjit Singh Aujla on Wednesday, Sonam (name changed), who returned here last month, claimed there are around 30 more women from Punjab who are forced to work as prostitutes in Oman. The woman sought the MP’s intervention to rescue these women.

Sonam said, “I met travel agent Rahul in February through one Paramjit Kaur of Ferozepur at Alpha One mall in Amritsar. The agent promised me to get the job of domestic worker with a salary of Rs 30,000 per month in Dubai. For this, he took Rs 55,000 from me. On April 9, I went to Dubai, but from there I was sold to a sheikh in Oman, where dozens of women from Punjab were already living as sex slaves.”

She said, “On May 5, I somehow, managed to flee from the sheikh’s custody and reached Indian embassy in Dubai. I then contacted my husband, who approached MP Aujla for my repatriation. With the efforts of the MP, I came back to India.”

She said, “My passport was taken by the sheikh and I was forced to work as a prostitute. Like me, there were around 200 women from various countries, who were forced there to work as prostitutes, besides being thrashed.”

“These trapped women cannot come back as their passports have been taken by sheikhs,” she added.

She also said they also make nude videos of these women. “A girl of Amritsar was also rescued along with me. She is in a shock and not coming out of her home as the sheikhs in Oman had made her sex videos,” she added.

Sonam said she would also meet external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj soon and urge her to rescue the Punjabi women trapped in Oman.

She said travel agents in Punjab are running this racket in collusion with agents of Dubai and around two to three girls are being sent to Dubai on daily basis.

Aujla said, “About a month ago, I got information about the woman’s plight through her husband. I immediately contacted the ministry of external affairs (MEA) for her repatriation. Recently, we have also rescued another woman from Oman, who is from Ajnala subdivision of Amritsar.”

He said I had apprised the MEA about the other trapped women in Oman.

He said, “Strict action will be taken against those travel agents who are duping poor women from Punjab on the pretext of providing them jobs.”

He added he had informed the Amritsar police commissioner about the travel agent who sent Sonam to Dubai.

A man from Ajnala, whose wife is also trapped in Oman, also met the MP and sought his intervention to get her rescued.

First Published: Jun 27, 2018 20:16 IST