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Woman ‘recruiter’ arrested

Siliguri, July 9: Kiran Ekka, a middle-aged woman, was arrested from Kamla Tea Garden near Phansidewa today on charges of abduction and trafficking. She is allegedly responsible for “recruiting” Rojalina Kujur (19), who was found hanging at the house, where she worked in Faridabad, on June 3.

The action was taken on the basis of an FIR lodged by the woman’s brother Raimon and uncle Libunus Kujur, who have alleged that Ekka was also behind recruiting at least five more girls from their area for working as domestic helps in and around Delhi.

This FIR and two others by the relatives of girls dead or missing from Oodlabari in Jalpaiguri were lodged at the intervention of the National Commission for Women, a member of which concluded a two-day visit today to a region where trafficking has become an acute problem.

While Noni Baski (17) has been missing for the past one year, Nachon Besra (16) is untraced even eight years after she had left.

The others among the 45 young women trafficked from a single gram panchayat in the eastern Dooars are Chuni Baski (16) and Fulti Khatun (18).

All had been lured away with the promise of jobs by dubious placement agencies. There is no news on most of them.

Three young girls have either committed suicide or have been murdered in Faridabad and Haryana, drawing the attention of the commission and the Eastern Himalayan Network on Anti-trafficking and Gender Violence (Erthnet).

So acute is the problem that the panel, along with NGO members from Delhi, will from now on visit the region once a month in a bid to curb the practice and improve the lot of the girls by getting several livelihood projects now available implemented.

An important aspect of these visits would be the lodging of FIRs at the police stations. “We were not satisfied with the cooperation of the police, both in Haryana and, after today’s hearings, in Jalpaiguri,” said the panel member Manju Hembrom.

The commission also visited the home of Rita Oraon in Oodlabari. She died in Sector 21D of Faridabad on June 24 after a fall from the highrise building where she worked.

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