'Subjected To Physical Abuse, Torture': NHRC Raises Concern Over Recent Reports Of Minor Girls Being Sold In Rajasthan To Different States

'Subjected To Physical Abuse, Torture': NHRC Raises Concern Over Recent Reports Of Minor Girls Being Sold In Rajasthan To Different States

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), India has observed that given the registration of cases involving the selling of girls in some communities in the recent past, it appears that the practice of selling the girls, many of whom are minors, is still continuing unabated and prevailing undeterred.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Saturday, June 01, 2024, 01:42 AM IST
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'Subjected To Physical Abuse, Torture': NHRC Raises Concern Over Recent Reports Of Minor Girls Being Sold In Rajasthan To Different States | File pic

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), India has observed that given the registration of cases involving the selling of girls in some communities in the recent past, it appears that the practice of selling the girls, many of whom are minors, is still continuing unabated and prevailing undeterred. It has said that this practice requires to be curbed forthwith in totality and stringent steps be taken by all the stakeholders.

The Commission’s observations have come in the wake of its findings in a case registered suo motu by it on 27th October, 2022 based on a media report alleging that girls were being sold on stamp paper in half a dozen districts of Rajasthan and sent to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai, Delhi and foreign countries and subjected to physical abuse, torture and sexual assault in slavery.

The Commission had sought reports from the Chief Secretary and DGP, Rajasthan besides its Special Rapporteur in the matter. The State Government confirmed the incident and said that a chargesheet was filed against the 23 accused and the 7 girls, who are the victims of trafficking, have been rehabilitated in Nari Niketan Girl’s Reform Home, Ajmer and Nati Niketan, Ajmer, respectively.

From the report of the Special Rapporteur, the Commission noted that the selling of women on stamp papers is a prevailing practice in the male-dominated Kanjar Community and the immoral practice of trafficking the girls is rampant in certain communities residing in various parts of Rajasthan. The young daughters and sisters have been forced into the sex trade.

Therefore, to stop this menace, the Commission has recommended that every state must have a State Anti-Human Trafficking Nodal Officer, who shall coordinate with the government by taking effective steps and measures through the District Anti-Human Trafficking Units (DAHTU) and State Government concerned. He should not be below the rank of the Secretary to the State Government or Inspector General of Police.

The Commission has also recommended that the DAHTUs, which were to be set up under a comprehensive scheme, as notified by the Union Home Ministry vide circulars dated 27th December, 2019 and 1st December, 2020, should be headed by a Gazetted officer not below the rank of Deputy SP. He should be effectively monitoring such incidents with the help of representatives from the Departments of Women and Child Welfare, Health & Family Welfare, Labour & Employment, Reputed local NGOs & experts in the field of Human Trafficking and Legal Counsellors in the District.

Recommending various functions of the DAHTUs including checking human trafficking and the rehabilitation of victims, the Commission has issued notices to the Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories to submit reports on compliance within eight weeks.

It is thus enjoined upon the State/ UT Governments to initiate all effective measures to prevent such practices prevailing in some communities and to eradicate child prostitution but also for effective and adequate rehabilitation and reintegration of the sexually ravaged minor girls by integrating them with the society by providing adequate relief and rehabilitation available under various schemes of the States.

The State/ UT Governments, through local staff government, as recommended by the Commission, are duty-bound to spread awareness about the constitutional prohibition preventing child prostitution and educate people about the selling of minor girls on stamp papers and their illegal marriage to eradicate such practices.

The Commission has also noted the plight of Mumbai bar dance girls trafficked from Rajasthan and forced into prostitution as pointed out in the report of its Special Rapporteur. Accordingly, it has directed the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police of Rajasthan to send a team, headed by an officer not below the rank of Inspector General of Police, for investigation to Mumbai to find out the plight of girls in dance bars.

The Commission has asked the DGP, Maharashtra to extend help to Rajasthan Police in this regard with a view to taking effective steps to prevent such incidents and ensure their repatriation to their original places and the State and District level Committees ensure their rehabilitation in accordance with the directions issued by it.

The Commission has also observed that despite stringent provisions in the law and the judgments of the Supreme Court and the Madhya Pradesh High Court in different cases having reference to human trafficking, it cannot be said that the desired result has been achieved. In this context, the Commission has noted in its proceedings the specific references from the Supreme Court orders in the cases of Budhadev Karmakar Vs. State of West Bengal (2011), Bachpan Bachao Andolan Vs. Union of India (2011)5SCC 538, and Vishal Jeet vs. Union of India, AIR 1990 SCC 1412, as well as from the order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Nihal Singh Vs. Ram Bai (AIR 1987 Madhya Pradesh 126) expressed hope and trust that the courts' directions would be implemented in the letter and spirit towards eradicating the menace of child prostitution and selling of minors for various evil purposes.

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