Maharashtra tops the list of states for the highest number of human trafficking cases recorded in 2019, revealed the latest report published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). With 282 cases of human trafficking registered last year in the state, over 986 people were trafficked, of which 936 were women. In a constant crackdown on trafficking cases, over 1,020 victims were rescued, the data revealed.
According to the NCRB report, Maharashtra accounts for 12.8 percent share of the country's human trafficking crime recorded last year, followed by Andhra Pradesh at 10.8 per cent and Karnataka at 8 per cent. In 2019, over 95 people below the age of 18 years were trafficked, of which 61 were female and 34 were male. Similarly, there were 891 victims above 18 years of age, of which 875 were females.
The report revealed that of the 1,020 human trafficking victims rescued last year in Maharashtra, over 946 people were trafficked for prostitution, 13 for forced marriage, 15 for forced labour and 39 for other reasons. According to the data, of those trafficking victims rescued, 978 were women. In a nationality wise break up of those rescued, 876 were Indian nationals, 31 from Bangladesh, and 31 belonged to other countries.
The Maharashtra Police had arrested 658 people under the human trafficking charges in 2019, but unfortunately, only one was convicted. Among the other arrested accused, 407 were chargesheeted and 15 were acquitted of the crime.
According to various women’s organisations, a few gangs have been operational in the state that lure young girls into flesh trade or take advantage of the family's financial situation to push the women and girls into prostitution. Moreover, it is also observed that the human traffickers (women), who were also a victim of the crime a few years ago, trap innocent girls on the pretext of a good city and luxury life.