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CID warns of human traffickers Alert sounded in four districts

- In search of a home

Guwahati, May 11: The CID has alerted Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang and Dhubri district administrations in lower Assam to prevent trafficking of people, including children and women, displaced by the 2012 riots and the recent violence in the BTAD.

The CID officials here told The Telegraph that the alert was sounded soon after violence broke out in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts on May 1 in which more than 40 people have been confirmed dead and nearly a thousand fled their houses out of fear.

“The district administration officials as well as police are busy in law and order duty following the violence and the human traffickers may have taken advantage of the situation. They may take women and children out of the state with promises of jobs or education. So the district administrations and the police have been alerted to be vigilant against such rackets. Those who were displaced by the 2012 riots are struggling for jobs and they could be easy prey for human traffickers,” a CID officer said.

Nedan Foundation and Assam Centre for Rural Development — two NGOs working in the lower Assam districts — have also been requested to keep a watch on the victims of violence to prevent human trafficking.

Over four lakh people were displaced in the 2012 riots that had killed over 100 people in Kokrajhar and neighbouring Chirang districts. Many fled their houses and took shelter at relief camps in the neighbouring Dhubri district too. Most, however, have returned home.

“Displacement induced by violence has been found to be one of the important reasons of human trafficking in our state and these districts are among the vulnerable ones. Trafficking is carried out by well-knit rackets and they target people who are in distress. The administration, NGOs and people at large should be alert so that they cannot take advantage of the situation,” the CID official said.

The number of cases registered with the anti-human trafficking unit of the CID had gone up to 118 in 2013 from 54 in 2011. Family members of 153 victims had lodged complaints in 2013 of which 125 were rescued from Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana, Rajasthan and Bangalore by the police with the help of NGOs. A total of 69 people had been arrested in connection with the cases in 2013.

The CID on Thursday brought back 14 minor boys and a girl after they were rescued from factories in Bangalore where they were engaged as forced labourers. One of the rescued boys hails from Bilasipara in Dhubri district.

Women falling victim to trafficking rackets have been found engaged in flesh trade in cities while many were sold off in Haryana and Rajasthan where there is a demand for women because of the poor sex ratio there. Minor boys and girls of poor parents are lured with promises of good education but many have been found engaged as forced labourers and domestic helps.

The CID opened an anti-human trafficking unit in 2011.

At present, there are 14 units across Assam which handle cases of human trafficking, including that of women and children. Sources said the problem is increasing because of lack of proper awareness in villages about human trafficking rackets.

Assam PCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita held a meeting at Rajiv Bhawan here with party presidents of the four BTAD districts after visiting Kokrajhar today.

Kalita told the BTAD district unit presidents of the party to be alert and active against any untoward situation, which may arise on or before May 16.

All the presidents expressed their displeasure against the Bodoland People’s Party and sought a severing of the alliance with the BPF as early as possible.

The chairman of the Minority Council of India, Nashima Ahmed, today visited Balapara in Kokrajhar and Narayanguri in Baksa to see the overall situation after the violence in these places.

Talking to reporters in Kokrajhar, Ahmed said additional forces would be posted in the sensitive areas immediately.