Police teams from three states, along with local NGOs, were in the city to conduct raids and rescue trafficked children and women, who were allegedly brought to the city by “placement agencies” and forced to work as domestic help.
The teams from Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh said they had stepped up efforts to rescue the women and children following the November 14 Supreme Court directive on the status of missing children.
Jharkhand police said they rescued one boy and four girls, of whom two were rescued from Noida. “FIRs registered against Panna Lal Mahto — who was arrested last month for allegedly trafficking girls from Jharkhand to other states — has given a boost to our rescue operations. It has helped us crackdown on fake and unregistered placement agencies and in arresting traffickers and agents,” Aradhana Singh, head of the anti-trafficking unit of Khunti district in Jharkhand, said.
Four police teams from Raigarh and Jashpur districts of Chhattisgarh have been conducting raids over the last 10 days. Ten girls were rescued from West Delhi and 10 others from Himachal Pradesh and Jammu. Also, 10 traffickers and agents were also arrested.
“We have acquired transit remand and sent them to Chhattisgarh. This is the first time we have arrested so many traffickers at once. Earlier, we only concentrated on rescuing children. But in the last two months, we have begun arresting traffickers and agents as well,” Mallika Banerjee, head of anti-trafficking unit of Jashpur police, said.
A team from South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal had come to Delhi in search of a 15-year-old girl. “We searched for the girl but intelligence reports indicated she had been taken to Allahabad. Our team went to Allahabad on Friday and rescued the girl. With the help of city police, we also arrested seven traffickers and rescued 22 minor girls and eight women. After the success of this operation, another team from New Jalpaiguri has also come to Delhi to search for missing children based on FIRs registered in West Bengal,” an officer, who was part of the search team, said.
“Interstate police efforts and coordination with NGOs will help rescue the children and crack down on offenders,” Rishi Kant, an activist with NGO Shakti Vahini, said.
Police sources said these raids were individually carried out by the three states. However, sources said, the states are planning joint raids in the future.