Bangladeshi girls rescued from Digha
Kolkata: The Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Thursday evening rescued five Bangladeshi girls from East Midnapore district of West Bengal, while they were being trafficked from Kolkata to New Digha for commercial sexual exploitation. Four traffickers have been arrested in the case.
The girls, aged between 16 and 22, were trafficked from Bangladesh by Payal Choudhury (25), who runs a brothel in Sonagachhi, the red-light area of Kolkata. Once in Kolkata, the girls were forcibly engaged in commercial sexual exploitation for some days, before being taken to New Digha for the same purpose. The AHTU, however, received some secret information about the trafficking, and foiled the racket even before the traffickers could reach New Digha with the girls.
Talking to Headlines India today, Special IG, CID, Sanjoy Mukherjee said that the AHTU team, acting on a tip-off, laid siege at Ramnagar Bridge area in East Midnapore district late on Thursday evening, and intercepted a Tata Sumo, in which the girls were being trafficked. Along with the girls were four traffickers, including Payal Choudhury, Pradeep Jha (25), who is presently on bail after having spent eleven months in prison on murder charges, Ajay Singh (24) and Ganesh Dhar (35).
The victims, four of them minors aged between 16 and 17, were rescued and sent for counselling, while the traffickers were arrested by the AHTU. The accused were produced in Contai Court in Kolkata today morning, where they were granted seven days police remand. They will be produced in the court again after seven days. If convicted, the accused can be subjected to a punishment of minimum seven years in prison.
Sanjoy Mukherjee expressed satisfaction over the arrests, and told Headlines India that he hoped that the AHTU would unearth more such rackets in the near future. He said, “We are looking into the angle of organised human trafficking from Bangladesh for commercial sexual exploitation very seriously. We hope to unearth the racket. Incidentally, the South-East Asia head of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Garry Lewis has sent his congratulations to CID regarding this operation.”