An alleged human trafficker, who is suspected to have smuggled hundreds of girls from different parts of West Bengal in the past few years on the pretext of their placement as domestic helps in the Capital, has been arrested in Najafgarh here. While five minor girls were rescued from him, the police are on the lookout for more victims and two human traffickers.
Accused Nemai Sardar (33) had been running one Alo Domestic Service at Jay Vihar in Najagarh. He has allegedly been operating for the past several years and earlier ran the agency in Naraina, but had recently shifted base to evade detection. The accused, against whom several cases are registered in West Bengal, was wanted for the past five years.
Following a tip-off, a West Bengal Police team in coordination with the Delhi Police Crime Branch and non-government organisation Shakti Vahini mounted a raid at his three-storey building and arrested him. The five girls who had been brought from 24 North Parganas were fo-und locked up in one of the rooms.
The operation was carried out on the direction of the Calcutta High Court on a habeas corpus petition moved by the mother of a minor girl who went missing from South 24 Parganas last year. The girl is yet to be traced. She was smuggled out through a human trafficking network of which Nemai was allegedly a part. “Two more accused in the case, Rajesh and Sushma, are absconding,” said a raiding team member. Raids were earlier conducted in neighbouring Ghaziabad in coordination with the local police, but Rajesh and Sushma remained untraced.
Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini said one Raju, who had brought the five rescued girls, is also at large. “Two of the victims had been brought on board Kalka Mail the day the operation was conducted, whereas the other three had been working for the past 18 months purportedly without any salary. Two of them earlier worked in Noida and the third in Jaipur. As news of their whereabouts reached their parents, they approached the local police to lodge complaint,” he said.
Nemai purportedly confessed to having brought the girl the police were looking for. “However, he claimed that she went missing from her employer's house,” said Mr. Kant, adding that the girls being brought by the traffickers were later not allowed to contact their parents back home.
During interrogation, Nemai allegedly disclosed that when he entered into the trade in 2000, he would get Rs.2,500 per girl as his cut. “He had now been getting a commission of Rs.10,000 per placement. He said his agency was registered,” Mr. Kant added.
The accused was produced in a Dwarka court that granted three days' transit remand to the police, which took him to West Bengal on Friday. After medical examination, the five victims were produced before the Child Welfare Committee that sent them to a shelter home.
Stating that trafficking of children from Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar for placement as domestic helps has become rampant, Mr. Kant said Delhi had emerged not only as a destination but also as a transit point for placement of such girls in the National Capital Region.
“In the absence of any legislation for regulating placement agencies, they are being registered as sole proprietorship, partnership and under the Shops and Establishment Act, and also as NGOs. The Delhi High Court had last year directed the Labour Department to register placement agencies. The High Court, in an elaborate order, had suggested that the registration process should not only be for agencies located in Delhi but also for all agencies who were placing women and children in houses located in Delhi,” Mr. Kant added.