Human traffickers exploit poverty of people, reports S. Sundar

In late September, a man walked into the Tirunagar police station with a complaint that a woman he got acquainted with a women during a train journey had kidnapped his 16-year-old daughter.

The man claimed that he had given up his job as a tea master to take care of his wife who was suffering from tuberculosis. The couple had a chance meeting with the same woman at a temple where they shared their plight with her. The woman handed over Rs.500 and promised them more help.

A few days later, the woman met the family with a proposal that a family in Chennai wanted a servant maid , and that the eldest of the three daughters of the tea master could be sent there for a monthly wage of Rs.6,000. Later the woman had kidnapped the girl to Chennai, he stated in his complaint. After remaining in touch for some time, the woman had switched off her phone, he added.

Investigation by the police revealed that the woman was very much in the city and the girl was with her. Upon enquiry, the police were shocked to hear that the kidnapper was a pimp and the minor girl had been forced into prostitution. The girl revealed that it was not the first time that she had gone out with strangers. The police also found that the TB patient was only her stepmother and the biological mother had passed away.

“The family was homeless and was in abject poverty. They were lured by pimps with money and the girl pushed into flesh trade,” Assistant Superintendent of Police V. Sasimohan said. The man fell into their trap.

The girl told the police that she had travelled to many towns with different brokers where she was sexually abused by different persons.

The police have arrested the father, the woman pimp and two others in this connection. The accused have been booked under the provisions of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act and for kidnapping.

The worst part of the story was the girl in the few months of stay outside had got used to the luxurious life. Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan said, “The young girl started comparing the life she had with her parents and the living environment with the strangers and she wanted to be allowed to live with those strangers.”

The girl is in the custody of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). “She still has the innocence of childhood. We are providing psychological counselling to bring her back to her original self and she has been responding well. Now, she does not want to go back to her old life,” CWC chairperson Jim Jesudoss said.

Stating that a big human trafficking network had been busted, the SP said the police were on the lookout for several other accused across the State.

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