City becoming a hotspot for girl trafficking

Many young girls are being trafficked from Vijayawada to several places and teenagers are being transported illegally from West Bengal, Kolkata, Bangladesh and within the State for flesh trade.

Besides, minor boys and girls from Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh are being trafficked and were engaged for work in jute mills, marine products export and construction companies and in brick kilns for minimum wages.

According to an NGO, more than 50 children were missing from different parts in Krishna district in 2014 and nearly 15 girls who were subjected to sexual abuse were rescued in the same year. However, the figures rose much higher after the area was declared as temporary capital of Andhra Pradesh and many ‘girl missing’ cases were pending with the police in Krishna and Guntur districts.

As per sources, the modus operandi of the accused is that they bring girls on the pretext of providing job and force them into prostitution.

In some cases, parents are pushing young girls into the flesh trade.

“Apart from NGOs, government is running a ‘One Stop Centre’ for trafficked girls and women, sexually exploited and domestic violence victims. We are sensitising girls through workshops and awareness meetings to prevent trafficking,” said District Child Protection Officer Ch. Vijay Kumar.

In November 2014, a 13-year-old girl from Coax Bazar district in Bangladesh was allegedly trafficked to Vijayawada. Sensing trouble, the girl escaped from the gang at Vijayawada railway station and approached the police. The victim was provided shelter in a home since then.

“My neighbour, Jasmine, brought me to Vijayawada promising a job. When she tried to hand me over to two unidentified persons in front of the railway station, I raised an alarm and the public helped me to approach the police,” the girl said. In another incident, a minor girl was trafficked and about 19 persons raped the girl in Vijayawada in August last year. The victim was a native of Nadia district in West Bengal.

“The flesh trade operatives were organising the illegal trade online, by posting the photographs of girls aged between 12 and 16 years. The accused paid online and brought the victim to Vijayawada, kept her in a house at Kanuru and hawked to the customers,” a police official said.

In a separate case, a 14-year-old girl of Vijayawada was sold away for Rs. 30,000 to a Visakhapatnam-based flesh trade gang, by her mother according to the police.

On receiving information, police raided a hostel being run on the pretext of a dance training institute.

They arrested the girl’s mother, mediator and a couple, who forced the girl into prostitution.

Under ‘Operation Smile’, Police officials, Women Development and Child Welfare Departments and the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) rescued about 110 tribal children, including a few girls, who were trafficked from Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar recently.

“The children were kept in different homes without obtaining permission from any government department or the CWC. The facilities in the homes are worst and the inmates were suffering a lot. The CWC reunited the children with their parents,” said CWC member S. Balashowry.

Admitting that there is a need to step up vigil at bus and railway stations to check trafficking, the police officials said that focus should be laid on coordinating line department to curb the menace.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 2:59:49 AM |

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