Guwahati: A 14-years-old minor from East Karbi Anglong district was allegedly sold for the purpose of marriage with a 33-year-old man in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu for Rs 1.5 lakh, said state police who have managed to rescue her on Sunday. Another minor aged 16-year-old girl was also rescued from Fatehabad in Haryana. She was also allegedly sold by a racket of human traffickers, said police.
Similarly, four other minor girls were also rescued from the clutches of human traffickers in the last 10 days.
However, cases of minors and women being sold for cash in Rajasthan, Haryana and even the national capital New Delhi were not new. Thanks to the delay by the state government in bringing a strict law against human trafficking that Assam has been recording a large number of cases of human trafficking over the years.
Earlier, during the state assembly, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “We are planning to introduce a law to check human trafficking.” He added the proposed law will regulate the employment of domestic help and those who employ them to check human trafficking. “Employers will have to register details of their domestic helps with the nearest police station and also be responsible to provide education and health facilities to them,” Sarma said.
He added the government will frame a policy for proper rehabilitation of trafficked children and take stern measures to check incidents of human trafficking. However, the proposed law was yet to see daylight.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau data for 2021, Assam reported some 203 cases of human trafficking, the third highest in the country. The official figures said that in these cases, some 460 persons, the majority women, were trafficked from the state last year, while 425 victims were rescued.
“Human trafficking is a major concern for Assam Police. Minors and women are being trafficked to other parts of the country from here. Racketeers take advantage of the huge rate of unemployment and lure these minors and women to other parts of the country with promises of good jobs,” said Assam Police sources.
The trend has highlighted that the areas highly vulnerable to such trafficking rackets were Nagaon, Morigaon, Baksa, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Karbi Anglgong as well as bordering areas of Hailakandi and Karimganj districts, particularly along the Mizoram and Bangladesh borders.
Women and children from the state are trafficked mostly to Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat for sexual exploitation, labour and forced marriage.
“Fake recruitment agencies are very active in the region. Earlier, a girl who hails from Jorhat was rescued from Malaysia. She was sold to a nightclub in Kuala Lumpur,” said police sources.
Assam Police have 14 anti-human trafficking units to deal with the growing menace. However, with the shortage of manpower, these units have been struggling.