Jharkhand tops in trafficking of foreign girls: Report
Union home ministry says 39 girls were brought to Jharkhand this year; activists say Nepal, Bangladesh could be the source but contest the figure.ranchi Updated: Dec 28, 2015 12:01 IST
As many as 39 foreign girls were trafficked to Jharkhand -- the highest in the country -- between January and October this year, said a union home ministry report tabled in the Lok Sabha.
When nine MPs sought details about human trafficking, minister of state for home affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary furnished on December 1 a report that includes six annexures. Annexure II mentioned the number of foreign girls brought to different states, including Jharkhand.
The minister said 22 foreign girls were brought to Karnataka, 19 to Maharashtra and 16 to Gujarat. As many as 251 girls were bought in Haryana, 372 in Bihar and 494 in Assam, he said.
The girls were possibly brought from Nepal and Bangladesh to India for flesh trade or brought to Jharkhand for marriage purposes, activists claimed, contesting the accuracy of the figures.
“The girls were possibly brought for escort services in Ranchi. We had come across escort agencies offering foreigners in the city,” said Rakesh Sengar of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, expressing surprise over the figures since no major raids were conducted in Jharkhand this year.
Social activists say states like Jharkhand and Odisha have launched a campaign against human trafficking and rescued several girls, including foreign nationals. “It doesn’t mean that human trafficking involving foreign nationals does not take place in metro cities and other states but such cases are sparingly reported in those places,” said an activist.
The minister said 98 human trafficking cases were lodged in Jharkhand till October this year, adding that 12 girls were bought in the state for being enslaved.
State home secretary NN Pandey did not respond to HT’s phone calls. State police spokesperson SN Pradhan said, “The figures require a through verification.”
Rishi Kant of Delhi-based NGO Shakti Vahini said, “I have not come across any such case (trafficking of foreign girls) in Jharkhand. The data needs to be cross-checked.”
Thousands of children, especially minor girls, are trafficked from Jharkhand to other parts of the country every year to make them work as bonded labourers and sex slaves, claim activists.
The police claimed in November that 40 Bangladeshi infiltrators, including women, living in remote villages of Jharkhand had possibly managed to get Indian passports.
“We had rescued a Bangladeshi girl from Ranchi two years ago, but it is difficult to digest the report saying that Jharkhand tops the list since other states have far more inflow of foreign nationals,” said activist Baijnath Kumar of Diya Seva Sansthan.
“Since Jharkhand is a hub of human trafficking there were possibilities that such cases get reported more here than in other parts of India,” he said. Jharkhand’s Santhal Parganas, around 200 km from Bangladesh borders, has a decent population of Bangladeshi immigrants.