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Girls trafficked from West Bengal rescued in Bihar’s Siwan district

The minors, who should have been in school, were part of an orchestra, said police and child rights activists

Debraj Mitra | Published 01.03.23, 07:14 AM
Representational file image

Representational file image

Five minors from West Bengal were rescued from three houses in a village in the Siwan district of Bihar on February 16.

The girls, who should have been in school, were part of an orchestra, said police and child rights activists.


Trafficked from West Bengal, the girls were allegedly forced to dance at musical soirees and sexually exploited, they added.

A man, identified as Lakhan Mondal, was arrested. Mondal, who hails from Jharkhali in South 24-Parganas district, was allegedly instrumental in trafficking girls from West Bengal to Bihar where they would be forced to join such orchestras.

A woman from South 24-Parganas district, who was also allegedly trafficked to Bihar and forced to join an orchestra in Siwan, managed to escape and reach her home last month.

Information shared by the woman on minors being part of the troupe triggered a chain of events that led to the February 16 raid.

“We got to know about the presence of several minors in the dancing troupes. For almost a fortnight, we gathered information. When we were reasonably confident about their presence, we decided to raid the place,” said Virender Singh of Mission Mukti Foundation, an NGO that helped the police in the rescue.

Before the raid, the NGO had written to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The commission had directed the police superintendent of Siwan to extend all possible support to find the girls.

A team comprising cops in civvies, members of NGOs Mission Mukti and Rescue Foundation and members of the district child protection unit raided the village called Mahuari.

“Within a periphery of 100m, three houses were raided. Six minor girls were rescued and one person was arrested,” said Kumar.

An officer of the women’s police station in Siwan, who was part of the raid, confirmed the raid and arrest.

“All six are minors. One girl is from Uttar Pradesh and five are from Bengal,” said the officer.

The girls have been taken to a shelter in Chhapra.

Mandal has been sent to judicial custody in Siwan.

An FIR has been lodged in Siwan, charging Mandal and a couple of other suspects under Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code (trafficking) and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act.

Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are the destinations of several girls trafficked from Bengal.

Financial constraints, early marriage and lack of employability are some of the key factors behind trafficking.

In most cases, they are forced to join orchestras. In weddings and other social gatherings, the girls dance to sleazy numbers.

Many of them are sexually exploited, said rights activists.

In September 2022, five girls were rescued from the clutches of an alleged trafficker in Patna by the same NGO. The girls were also part of an orchestra.

Last updated on 01.03.23, 07:14 AM

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