Five minor girls from Bengal, allegedly trafficked and forced to dance in musical soirees, were rescued from Bihar on Saturday.
The search for a 15-year-old girl from Uttar Dinajpur, ‘missing’ for the past three months, led police to a house in a village in Saran district. The girl was rescued from there and two alleged traffickers arrested, said an officer of Bihar police.
The alleged traffickers led the cops to another house in the same village. Eight girls were rescued from the second house and another alleged trafficker arrested, the police said.
“In total, nine minor girls were rescued. Five of them are from Bengal,” said Ishwari Devi, president of Mission Mukti Foundation, a Delhi-based NGO.
Bengal police had sought the NGO’s help in tracking the girl from Uttar Dinajpur after a probe suggested she was taken to Bihar.
The other girls from Bengal, who were rescued on Saturday, hail from North 24-Parganas and Bardhaman, said a representative of the NGO who was part of the rescue operation on Saturday.
“All the girls were forced to dance to sleazy music at private ceremonies,” said the Bihar police officer. The owner of the orchestra, his wife and an accomplice have been arrested.
The anti-human trafficking unit of Bihar police and members of Childline India and Rescue Foundation were part of the rescue operations. The cell phone tower locations led the team to the traffickers.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had prodded the police to act urgently in the case, said activists involved in the operation.
The team split into two after reaching the village where the girl from Uttar Dinajpur was suspected to have been kept.
A member of one unit called the prime suspect, the owner of the orchestra, and posed as a customer, looking for girls to dance at a birthday party.
“The suspect fell for the trap. One unit reached his house and saw a minor girl. She was the one missing from Uttar Dinajpur,” said a member of the team.
Upon receiving a signal, the unit on standby stormed the house.
A team from Bengal police reached Bihar on Sunday and left with the girl on Monday.
The other girls are in a shelter home and will be taken back to their homes, the police said.