Assam and West Bengal account for 40 per cent of all crime related to human trafficking in the country, reveals latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau ( NCRB)
Assam (population 3.22 crore) recorded the highest number (1,494) cases of human trafficking — 21.7 per cent of all cases recorded across the country in 2015.
Assam is followed by its neighbour West Bengal, which has three times the population of Assam (at 9.3 crore) and recorded 1,255 cases (18.2 per cent of all such crimes nationwide) pertaining to human trafficking in the same period.
Together, both states have recorded 2,799 cases of human trafficking under Section 370/370A of the Indian Penal Code, which is 39.9 per cent of the total number of cases recorded in this category. Tamil Nadu is next only to Assam and West Bengal, with 577 cases adding up to 8.4 per cent of total number of crimes under this category.
Through out the country, 6,877 cases were registered for crimes related to human trafficking in 2015.
Assam and West Bengal also record a high number of cases of under Section 366-A of the Indian Penal Code, which relates to the ‘procuration of minor girls below 18 years’.
Of the 3,087 cases under Section 366-A recorded across 29 States and seven union territories of the country, Assam accounted for 1,303 cases and West Bengal for 1,003 cases.
Together, Assam and WB account for 74 per cent cases recorded across India in 2015 under 366-A of IPC.
Draft of Anti-Trafficking Bill ready The figures assume significance at a time when the country has earned the dubious distinction of having the highest number of people in the world trapped in one of the worst forms of human slavery.
Rishi Kant, an activist with Shakti Vahini, an NGO that’s involved in rescuing trafficked persons, pointed out that the figures are coming at a crucial juncture when the Ministry of Women and Child Development is coming up with a legislation to tackle human trafficking as an organised crime. The draft of the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2016 is ready and suggestions are being invited from different states and sections of the society, he said.
Mr. Kant said that this situation has been prevailing in Assam and West Bengal for quite some time, and the frequent floods in Assam make people most vulnerable to trafficking.
However, the activist also pointed out that the police are recording cases under anti-trafficking laws when people go missing from these states, which is a silver lining for tackling the issue.