Police on Tuesday arrested three persons, including a Bangladeshi man, in connection with the alleged trafficking of a minor girl from Bangladesh. Acting on a tip-off that a minor girl was being trafficked to Pune, Golabari police station Sub-Inspector Angshuman Chakraborty led a team of officials and rescued the 15-year-old native of Potuakhali area in Bangladesh. They also arrested Mekhile Biswas (22) of Bangladesh, Shyamal Das (32) of Bongaon and Gobind Madukar Kharat (22) of Maharashtra.
“The accused played an active role in transporting the girl to India illegally, with the help of touts, Aminur Sk of Petrapole in India and Saukat from Bangladesh. They did not have proper passports, visas or any other legal documents. Some cash, a mobile with a Bangladeshi SIM and some Bangladeshi currency were seized,” said an official.
Following the operation, Golabari police registered a complaint under sections 370 (2) and (4) of the IPC and 14/14C of the Foreigners Act. While all three were booked under sections of trafficking, Mekhile was charged under the Foreigners Act as well.
“The girl only knows Urdu and she was working in a factory for Rs 3,500 per month… They crossed the border without visas or passports. During interrogation, they revealed that on that day, touts successfully helped nine persons cross the border without documents. This figure is alarming. The Indian tout (Aminur) had tasked Shyamal to hand over Mekhile and the girl to Gobind, who was likely to take them to Pune.
“We first detained Shyamal and Mekhile and then made them call Gobind to come and pick them up. Once he reached, we arrested him too,” said a police official. Sources said Shyamal had revealed that he usually earns Rs 2,500 rupees to transport a person to Howrah.
Upon crossing the border on Monday, sources said the girl was kept in a house in Bongaon. She had allegedly been in a relationship with Mekhile for a while and was brought to India with the promise of marriage.
A Golabari police officer said, “Mekhile lured the girl with the promise of marriage while planning to transport her to Pune. Pune is the hub for flesh trade. About 60 percent of girls who are forced into flesh trade in Pune are Bengali, either from North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas or Bangladesh.”
The girl has been placed in a home for safekeeping, according to police. “A minor’s consent is no consent. These girls from Bangladesh are easily sold for Rs 1 lakh or Rs 1.5 lakh in a city like Pune… We will be trying for 14 days’ police custody for Shyamal and Gobind, to dig up more information on how the racket works,” another official said.