GUWAHATI: Police in Hojai district have busted an interstate trafficking racket and rescued 11 women, including four minors, on Monday night. Four persons, including three women, have been arrested.
According to reports, the women who belong from different districts in upper Assam had been ensnared with the promise of jobs and were about to be trafficked outside the state when the police reached the spot and rescued them.
Dipti Mali, Deputy Superintendent of Hojai Police informed that the police conducted the raid after reportedly receiving information that several women were being kept in two houses in Murajhar. The traffickers had however already moved the women to another location by the time police reached the spot.
The police found several bags full of clothes on the premises, along with two other women. On questioning the women reportedly revealed that the trafficked women had been taken to the paddy fields. "We conducted a search in the dark for several hours and were able to rescue 11 women," the Deputy Superintendent added.
Police have arrested one 25-year-old Abida Begum, who is reportedly the mastermind of the racket, along with the two women in whose houses the rescued women were kept. One person, who was reportedly organising the trafficking has also been arrested. The police are on the search to nab another accused who fled the scene.
"Local residents say Abida has been involved in trafficking women for quite some time now. She reportedly used to promise the women jobs outside the state, and after some time these women used to disappear without any trace," said Deputy Superintendent Mali
"Detailed interrogation of the accused will reveal where they used to traffic the women and what happened to them. Most of the women rescued on Monday night belong to the tea tribe community and are from Tinsukia and Margherita in upper Assam," she added.
Police have registered a case against the accused and are conducting further investigation to unearth the total number of women trafficked to date.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures for 2019, the rate of human trafficking in Assam per 100,000 population, was 0.6, which is three times the national rate of 0.2.
The state accounted for 8.9% of the total human trafficking cases reported in India in 2019, which is the third-highest after Maharashtra (12.5%) and Andhra Pradesh (10.8%). Maharashtra recorded 282 cases of human trafficking in 2019, followed by Andhra Pradesh (245) and Assam (201).
Foot Over Bridges Add a Glitzy, New Look to Guwahati