Taking serious exception to Mumbai Police sending all Bengali-speaking “trafficked” children and women back to West Bengal, the state government has decided to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra government on following a “Standard Operating Procedures to establish the identities of such people being rescued there”.
Principal Secretary to the Department of Social Welfare, Roshni Sen will land in Mumbai on Friday to sign the MoU with her Maharashtra counterpart.
“We have seen that whenever the Mumbai police rescues some Bengali-speaking children or women who fell victim to trafficking, they send them back to Kolkata without cross-checking whether they are from West Bengal or came from Bangladesh. The fact is most of these victims are from Bangladesh and they should be sent back to their families (in that country). Often the Mumbai police send them to Homes run by the state government (here) and we remain in the dark,” minister of state (independent charge) for social, child and women development, Shashi Panja said, adding Sen “will also sign an MoU with Karnataka”.
“If it is confirmed that the women are of Bangladesh origin, the state of rescue (Maharashtra) will repatriate the women following the standard operating procedure with Bangladesh. Under no circumstances the women who speak Bengali will be transferred to West Bengal until their respective families have been traced,” reads Section 4 of the SOP.
Every year a good number of children and women are brought from both Bangladesh and poor districts of West Bengal like South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad and Malda districts and sent to places like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. They are sold off to red light areas and dancing bars of Mumbai.