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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 26 June 2024

Calcutta woman ‘trafficked’ to Oman rescued

42-year-old was sent back home on Monday night with the intervention of office of chief minister Mamata Banerjee

Snehamoy Chakraborty Calcutta Published 08.02.23, 02:57 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

A 42-year-old woman from Calcutta, allegedly trafficked to Oman last month, was rescued and sent back home on Monday night with the intervention of the office of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Sources said that the woman from Calcutta was one among 200-odd women from the country, including 30 from Bengal, trafficked to Oman.

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“I am home in Calcutta after a nightmarish 20 days. It was a trap and I was to be sold for a bad purpose by the racket in Oman.... I am grateful that the state government arranged even my return airfare,” said the college dropout who lives in Calcutta with her elderly and ailing father.

A source said after the state government contacted the embassy in Oman with help of the external affairs department, the embassy official with help of local police rescued five women, including the one from Calcutta.

This Calcutta resident was accompanied by four women, including two from Punjab. One of the women from Punjab corroborated trafficking while speaking to The Telegraph on Tuesday. “I went there six months ago with an agent’s help. The racket has agents in all states of India, which is how women have been trapped,” said this woman from Punjab.

“They seized our passports and there was no escape...,” added the Calcutta woman.

According to her, she came in contact with an “agent” from Joynagar in South 24-Parganas who offered her the job of a beauty professional with an excellent salary (around Rs 1 to 1.5 lakh a month) in Oman and took Rs 13 lakh as a fee to complete the formalities.

The agent sent her to Assam’s Guwahati from where she, along with another woman, flew to Oman on January 15.

“From Muscat airport, I was taken to a place where I saw at least 200 Indian women. I came to know about the racket from them. I tried to get in touch with the Indian embassy but the head of the racket, Faiz, came to know of it. My phone was taken away and a group of men tortured me,” she said.

Using another woman’s phone, she managed to contact someone she knew who helped her get in touch with social worker Samirul Islam, secretary of Bangla Sanskriti Mancha.

“I collected her details and emailed the offices of the chief minister and chief secretary. I got an immediate response from the state government,” said Islam. He added the Centre should have a database of every migrant worker going abroad, with the embassy keeping tabs.

Bengal police were searching for the Joynagar agent, sources said.

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