SILIGURI, 23 Nov 2016: Two youngsters from the Darjeeling hills were conferred bravery awards by the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) on November 21 in Kolkata on the occasion of International Child Rights Week. They were awarded for playing an active role in exposing an international sex racket at Munirka in New Delhi and in Gurgaon, Haryana. They helped save several girls from Darjeeling, the Dooars, Sikkim and Nepal. All together, four young members of the Students Against Trafficking Clubs (SATC) were involved in helping the authorities bust the sex racket, but as two of them were above 18 years of age, they could not qualify for the award.
Local NGO MARG, along with the district administration, other local NGOs and individuals played a significant role in bringing the girls back to their homes. Speaking to this correspondent, DCPO Mrinal Ghosh said, “We have submitted the names of the two children for the National Bravery Award as well.”
With help from the girls, the Kharibari police and MARG uncovered an international sex racket leading to the arrest of Gagan Verma, the kingpin, from Gurgaon, and a woman from Nepalganj in Nepal, who was initially reported missing from Sindupalchowk district of Nepal, but later turned out to be a trafficker herself.
Besides Verma, five other suspected traffickers were arrested at the West Bengal-Nepal border, and a police team from Darjeeling reached Delhi to nab the others involved in the racket.Verma was arrested from his residence in DLF Phase 2, Gurgaon by the Darjeeling and Haryana police. Verma’s alleged modus operandi was to forge government documents such as Aadhar cards to traffic girls and force them to work in dance bars and in the sex trade.
A trafficker named Sunni Tamang had managed to escape from India, but she was apprehended by the Nepal police on Tuesday night at the India-Nepal border town of Nepalganj.
MARG president Nirnay John Chhetri said the racket had a long chain, extending from Siliguri to Delhi and Haryana and many people were involved. Sunni Tamang was one of the main links who used to sell girls from Nepal and the border regions by luring them with promises of lucrative jobs and good money.
Some months ago, Kharibari police arrested Urgen Bhutia (23) and Srijana Rai (22) from the Panitanki border. They had come from Delhi to receive ‘girls’, who in fact were volunteers helping to bust the racket. Similarly, Hierien (39) of Shilong, Prashant Borah (24) of Dibrugarh, Pranjol Sunwar (37) of Dibrugarh and Pranita Sunwar of Sipchu Forest village in Nagarkata were also arrested for their involvement in the racket.
[Via: The Echo of India]
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