Rampant girl trafficking in South 24-Parganas has prompted the police to plan an awareness overdrive against the crime.
'We are determined to root out the evil with help from all sections of society,' said superintendent of the district police S.N. Gupta. 'As an initial measure, we have printed posters with a list of dos and don'ts. The posters will be displayed in places where people gather every day.'
Besides, public awareness rallies will be held at bus stops, railway stations, ferry ghats, cinemas, markets, colleges and hospitals.
The messages the posters will convey to the public:
Do not fall into the trap of an unknown person promising service or marriage
Do not go to a cinema or restaurant with an unknown person
Do not take food offered by an unknown person
Inform police if any unknown person offers to accompany a girl
Keep a watch on the friends of a teenager
To pass on any information about immoral trafficking, eve-teasing or molestation, call police at 100 (identity of the caller will not be disclosed).
Superintendent Gupta said officers of all police stations will regularly interact with the public to keep tabs on crimes against girls and women.
According to a report, 42 girls from the district had been rescued from various places by police between January and August.
These girls were lured away from home with false promises of jobs or marriage.
Ten persons were arrested this year for their involvement in girl-trafficking. Of them, seven are still lodged in jails.
Last year, around 10 girls had been rescued and two persons arrested. Most of the kidnapped girls were taken to Mumbai, Pune and Delhi, and a few to as far away as the Arab countries.
A senior officer said the places most vulnerable to trafficking were Sonarpur, Baruipur, Behala and Joynagar.
'We fear the exact number of girls abducted from the district is much more, as guardians are not always willing to lodge complaints,' he added.