The number of human trafficking cases in the country more than doubled between 2013 and 2016. This emerges out of year-wise and state-wise figures presented by by the Home Ministry in reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
Year by year, the number of cases nationwide has increased successively from 3,940 in 2013 to 5,235, 7,143 and 8,132.
West Bengal accounted for one-third of all human trafficking cases in India between 2013 and 2016. Out of a total of 24,450 cases across the country in these four calendar years, 8,115 were reported from West Bengal. Of the 8,132 cases in 2016, West Bengal accounted for 3,579, or 44%.
No other state had that many cases between 2013 and 2016 put together. The state with the next highest number, Rajasthan, had 3,278, which was 13% of the four-year, all-India total. In 2016, Rajasthan had 1,422 cases, which was less than half of West Bengal’s 3,579.
In his reply, Minister of State (Home) Hansram Gangaram Ahir said the data for the four years were collected from different sources.
In his question, MP N K Premachandran had asked what action the Centre and the states had taken; the minister replied that investigation and prevention of crime are the responsibility of state governments, but the Union ministry has issued various advisories from time to time to the states on combating human trafficking.