| Anita Devi (left) at Motihari Town police station on Wednesday. Picture by Ajit Kumar Verma |
A 23-year-old woman was picked up from Motihari on Wednesday for alleged trafficking of two minor girls to seven persons, including Gaya deputy mayor Mohan Srivastava.
Srivastava and others, including two ward councillors of Gaya, were arrested from two hotels in the city late on Monday night. They were sent to the judicial custody till January 20 with charges of abduction and gang rape.
The two girls, in their statement to the police, said they had been lured by the men promising jobs for them in Patna but later threatened them with dire consequences if they even talked during the 160 and odd km journey from Motihari.
“Anita, allegedly involved in a sex racket, was arrested from the Agarwa locality of Motihari on Wednesday. Daughter of Raj Kumar Mahto, an employee with Motihari sadar hospital, Anita has her husband, Surendra Prasad. Surendra, a resident of Haryana, works in a Delhi poultry farm. Prima facie, Anita, caught in Raxaul two years ago for the same offence, seems to have been involved in the racket,” Motihari additional superintendent of police P.K. Mandal said, adding that she was expected to reach Patna by late on Wednesday evening.
Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaj said: “The police are waiting for the medical reports of the girls aged around 16. During the initial interrogation, the girls said the men had promised them jobs in Patna. The police had caught the men red-handed in a compromising position with the duo. We are looking for another person who worked as an intermediary.”
Sources said Anita had brought the girls from their hometown in Gopalganj district. “It seems that Anita is into the business of luring girls and women into flesh trade. The girls were staying at a hostel in Motihari and were promised by Anita that she would provide them with jobs. Soon, Anita handed the girl over to them. The girls were told that the men were taking them to Patna for some jobs. Later, while on the way in cars, they were threatened to keep mum,” a police officer said.
Another police officer said they had been lodged at a room in Fraser Road-based Marwari Awas.
“The hotel employees were told that the girls were their relatives and no register entry was made. It has been made mandatory that any guest checking into any hotel should provide their credentials. The hotels should keep a copy of their photo identity cards and also enter their name, address, contact details among others in the hotel register. But none of this was done and the police suspect a role of the hotel authorities in this crime. We are planning to start a drive against hotels in the form of surprise checks. Any hotel found flouting the norms will see legal action against them,” he said.