Girl Child Traffiking in Assam-Arunachal Pradesh in India
Lakhimpur becomes hot spot in girl child trafficking:
North Lakhimpur: 22nd July: The recent arrest of an inter-state human trafficker by Lakhimpur Police has once again brought to light of the issue of widespread trafficking of girl child in the district. On 6th March this year the upper house of the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha was rocked by the report of four hundred cases of missing girl child from Lakhimpur district alone as reported by Bachpan Bachao Andolan, an NGO working on this issue. However, after the Rajya Sabha debate, the Lakhimpur Police was in denial about the number of cases of the missing girl child in the district. As reported earlier, the Lakhimpur Police dismissed the high number of missing girl child and stated the figure to be only 12 cases. The police here also had said about rescue of twelve such girls from Delhi in 2012 and two from neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh this year so far. However the recent arrest of a human trafficker from Arunachal Pradesh in Ghilamora under Dhakuwakhona sub-division of Lakhimpur district and the subsequent rescue of some missing girl child have revealed the gory picture of the criminal activities which have been on in this region concerning girl child trafficking. Police recently arrested one Ha Tami (35) of Arunachal Pradesh in Ghilamora who had visited the area to pick some girl child arranged by two local collaborators. The police have been looking for Ha Tami following the case No. 69 and 31 registered in Ghilamora Police Station in 2010 and 2011 respectively. According to the police Ha Tami lured the poor parents of minor girls Devajanee Das (9) and Malatii Das (10) of Bor-Doi Chutiakari village under Ghilamora Police Station along with Amaravati Bordoloi (13) of Na-Nadi village and Vidyawati Das (13) of Aadrashagaon under Gogamukh Police Station and supplied the girls to outside Assam three years ago. Tami confessed before the police of selling the girls in the remote Thimphu Basti village under Kalring district on the Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. On 18th July, the Lakhimpur Police, led by Naren Sonowal, O.C, Ghilamora Police Station rescued three of the missing girl child from an area in Banderdwa on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border. Though Devajanee, Malati and Amaravati were rescued, the fourth one, Vidyavati is yet to be rescued. According to accused Ha Tami, Devajanee Das is presently working as a domestic help in the house of one Minkoo Maye in a remote village on the Indo-China border inside Arunachal Pradesh.
As attributed by the Lakhimpur Police while reacting to the Rajya Sabha debate in March this year, poverty of the families of the girl child has been responsible for the rise of trafficking. In this case also, the poor parents of the missing girls were lured by money by the traffickers and their local collaborators to send their young daughters for a ‘better life’. While in most of the cases the girls are trafficked for flesh trade outside Assam mostly in north India, the girls trafficked to neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh from Lakhimpur and Dhemaji district are sold to buyers to be engaged in domestic help amounting to the state of slavery. Minor girls from almost all communities, mostly from the poor, landless families of the immigrant Muslim community are trafficked to Arunachal Pradesh from the Bangalmara, Nowboicha, Laluk, Dejoo areas of Lakhimpur district to be used as slaves in various households. Most of such cases remain unreported in the nearest police stations and it comes out only when someone returns home as escapees.
The recent report by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime states that the North Eastern states of India have become the hot spots of human trafficking—trafficking of girls for flesh trades to countries as far as South East Asia besides sending them for the same across the country. In this context, Lakhimpur district has also become a hot spot of girl child trafficking following the latest arrests of traffickers and rescue of some of the missing girls.
Only policing and law enforcement seems to be ineffective in tackling this disturbing trend. Awareness programmes can bring certain changes towards checking this inhuman practice of girl child trafficking in our rural and muffosil areas. The UNODC is marking International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26th June each year as its campaign to create awareness about all types of illicit trafficking including that of the girl child. This year the opportunity was lost in Lakhimpur district as the day was not observed in any way or form to create awareness against trafficking of girl child. However one can still wait for the International Anti-Corruption Day of the UNODC on 9th December this year to create awareness on this problem.