A girl missing from her South 24-Parganas home since the last week of August was rescued from Ballia district in Uttar Pradesh on Monday.
The 15-year-old was rescued from the house of a person who runs an orchestra and a dance troupe that performs at ceremonies. The minor was forced to dance at some ceremonies, said a representative of the NGO that was part of the rescue operation, conducted by local police.
South and North 24-Parganas are the trafficking hotbeds of Bengal. While many girls from these two districts are trafficked to red-light areas in other cities, some are forced to join dance troupes and perform to sleazy numbers at ceremonies in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
The girl rescued on Monday lived with her mother and two brothers at her maternal grandfather’s house. Her father has deserted the family. The grandfather pulls a van for a living.
It is not immediately clear if the girl was lured with the promise of money. She was taken to a shelter home in Ballia after the rescue.
Uttar Pradesh police suspect an older member of the orchestra, who traces her roots to South 24-Parganas, was instrumental in trafficking the girl to Ballia. The owner of the orchestra has been detained.
“The girl managed to make phone calls to her grandfather. The tower location of the calls was traced to Ballia,” said Virender Kumar Singh, director, Mission Mukti Foundation. The foundation, along with another NGO, World Vision, collaborated with the cops in the rescue mission.