Wednesday, February 18, 2015
NCST sought a detailed report from the Jharkhand govt.
Calling Jharkhand "callous", the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has sought a detailed status report from the state on trafficking cases from tribal communities in the past year.
Explaining why it was needed, a senior panel official said: "This is the second time the commission has stepped in to review trafficking cases since June last year because it feels that while FIRs were lodged on many occasions, there have been no proper investigations, follow-ups or prosecutions. Several accused are still roaming free."
"We want to follow up on the developments because many incidents of deaths and inhuman torture were reported, highlighting the vulnerability of poor tribal girls in cities like Delhi where they come on their own or are lured by traffickers on the pretext of jobs," the member said.
The commission, in its letter written to the state government last week, also criticised Jharkhand for taking the "ever-growing menace of human trafficking very callously".
"These cases are just not stopping. That's a major cause of concern for us," the panel member said. "The lackadaisical attitude on the part of political leadership is disturbing."
He pointed out that recently a minor tribal girl had been rescued from Punjab after being kidnapped and sold off for "marriage".
The minor was sexually assaulted by the man who forcibly "married" her even as her frantic parents in Khunti district kept searching for her.
Official estimates suggest around 30 trafficked girls from Jharkhand were rescued in the past one year, mostly from NCR. Twenty other new cases of trafficking have been filed and the girls are yet to be found.
Trafficking is rampant in Garhwa, Sahebganj, Dumka, Pakur, West Singhbhum, Khunti, Ranchi, Palamau, Giridih, Koderma and Lohardaga. Most vulnerable groups are Oraon, Munda, Santhal, Paharia and Gond. Most trafficked girls are either Oraon or Munda.
The panel's letter also refers to a UN report in 2013 that said 42,000 girls had been trafficked from Jharkhand to the metros.
"About 70 per cent of the total migrant women and girls are forced to join the flesh trade. Victims in homes often work in pathetic conditions," the letter said.