Take my Salam. Hope you are all fine by god’s grace. I am not well. I don’t know whether I will get mercy from you ever….I don’t know when I will be able see you all…..I am in a difficult situation, a situation that cannot be explained in words. Please forgive me mother.
Your beloved daughter
The letter was written by Poly Akhter,16, and was with her father Karim Mollah, a resident of Kalwala Para in Section 1, Mirpur.
Poly wrote the touching letter from India eight months ago to her mother, stating her awful condition in a brothel in India. Poly a victim of human trafficking was taken to one of India’s hard-core sex-trade areas, Budhwar Peth in Pune by one who had befriended her.
Four girls including Poly and Jakia Dewan were smuggled earlier this year to India by Priya Akhter, a women and child trafficker from Mirpur. Akhter a notorious smuggler is also connected to India-based gangs and has been trafficking since 2008.
Fortunately the Pune police recently rescued Jakia Dewan from Budhwar Peth. Similarly, the Jessore police rescued teenage girls Meem and Boby from the Marwari Mandir brothel this year when they sought help. These two friends were promised better jobs abroad by Priya and taken from Mirpur to the Jessore brothel. However, Meem realised immediately that it was a brothel and managed to escape.
“There are many other sisters like me who were sold to this brothel and no one from outside can understand what is happening inside this house,” says Keya who was in forced prostitution for seven years. Keya was sold to the brothel by her boyfriend Nazmul.
To be in the sex trade, ring members in human trafficking first force the girls to have sex with them and then introduce the clients. “Every day they forced us to sell ourselves ten to fifteen times, if we didn’t they would burn our body with a cigarette’, says a victim who is still locked in the brothel.
‘There are three tiers in the transaction. Each tier gets Taka four to ten thousands for each woman and the total transaction involves Taka forty to forty five thousands’, says Dipti Baul, Job Placement Officer of Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers’ Association. Baul is working in the Anti-Trafficking Project of the Association.
‘This amount doubles for the prettier girls because Indian brothel houses have a good demand for them,” she adds. And finally last agent from India get girls by Indian Rupees 100000 from the trafficker.
Investigations carried out by this reporter finds that brothel Marwari Mandir in Jessore and brothel village in Banisanta in Khulna are the most used transit points by the traffickers to smuggle women and children into India and Pakistan.
Traffickers target especially locations like Mirpur, Ashulia and Savar where the garment industries are located. Traffickers’ primarily focus on lucrative areas like the Bihari camp in Mohammadpur, Millat Bihari camp in Mirpur, Telugu camp in Agargaon and Horizon camp in old town. The Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar is also one of the main target places of the traffickers.
Numerous newspaper reports show that there are more then 20 transit points along the India-Bangladesh border that are used for trafficking. Most of the transit points are in Khulna, Shatkhira and Jessore.
Some marriage registration centres also work hand-in-hand with this network. Registrars arrange fake marriages that allow the so-called ‘husbands’ to smuggle their wives out in exchange for money.
It is often difficult to determine if a girl is being smuggled or is migrating. Only the final destination will tell the truth.