A raid by the anti-women trafficking wing of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on a house in Kulai on Tuesday, revealed the severity of child trafficking in the State, and the key role played by the city in the ring.

The Bangalore team of the CID, which was handed over the case after a girl was rescued from Mandya three months ago, arrested three persons during the raid. The main accused Tara (30) from Belur in Hassan district, Deepa (25) from Chikmagalur, and Jayanna were arrested for selling minor girls for prostitution and child labour. While Tara is alleged to have supplied girls from the vulnerable sections of society, Deepa and Jayanna are accused of selling the girls to traffickers on a “contract” basis.

Three children have been rescued from the house, and sent to a fit institution in the city by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC).

Unravelling the ring

According to Anil Kumar G.S., Police Inspector with the wing, the ring was revealed when a 16-year-old girl escaped from her captors and was rescued by a nongovernmental organisation in Mandya.

“She is an orphan from Hassan district, and was taken by her aunt, Tara, who was arrested, to Kulai, from where she was sold to traffickers in Mumbai. For two years, she has been sent from one place to another as traffickers sold her to other prostitution rings,” said Mr. Kumar. Her statement mentions that often she would be “used” by 20 men in a day. “They threatened to kill her by stuffing her into a sewage pit, or throwing her off the building if she escapes. She calls the two years as pure hell, and even tried to kill herself,” said the inspector.

Eventually, the girl was sold to a person in Mysore from where she escaped, and later rescued. The case was transferred to CID. Her statements led to the raid in Kulai.

Asha Nayak, CWC Chairperson, said the three rescued children were aged between 10 and 14. “Two children claim that the arrested were their biological parents. However, considering that a 30-year-old is unlikely to have a 14-year-old daughter, we have asked for a DNA test, ” she said.