Over 100 Nepali women rescued from India in three days

By Arpana Adhikari

Kathmandu, Feb. 3:A multi-agency operation, including Maiti Nepal, an anti-trafficking organisation of Nepal, and Indian Police has rescued 104 Nepali women aged between 20-35 years from Manipur and Delhi of India since January 30.
The operation has stumbled upon an organised racket, trafficking Nepali women to Gulf countries; and Manipur, one of the north-east states of India, which is a new transit point for the trafficked women for travelling to the Gulf countries via Myanmar.
Initially, Maiti Nepal, with support of Indian Police and different organisations, rescued thirty-seven Nepali women, who were trafficked to India on the pretext of foreign employment in Iraq, Iran and Dubai (the UAE).
Prior to this, six Nepali women were rescued from a private residence at Rajivnagar, Delhi on January 30, with support from Delhi Commission for Women and Rescue Foundation, an India-based local NGO.
A private residence at Bharucha Dairy, Rajivnagar, was used as the collection centre, where Nepali women from various districts were kept for a few days before sending them to Manipur and trafficking them to Gulf countries via Myanmar, said Bishwo Khadka, chairperson of Maiti Nepal.
According to Khadka, Maiti Nepal, with support of local organisations of India, raided the place after the Maiti Nepal received anonymous mail a few days ago, informing about the Nepali women who were kept in Delhi.
As per the information they received, 32 women were kept in the Delhi centre. However, the rescue team only found six women in the centre, he added.
Following an interrogation, the women rescued from Delhi disclosed that a large number of Nepali women were travelling towards North East to cross the border towards Myanmar.
Then the Maiti Nepal along with Manipur Police and Impulse NGO Network rescued 31 women from Imphal, the capital of Manipur Friday morning.
Following the information of Maiti Nepal, the Manipur Police have intensified the search and rescue operation from early Friday morning in Moreh, an Indo-Myanmar border town, and rescued 67 Nepali women from hotels and Integrated Check Post of Moreh.
According to Maiti Nepal, the Manipur Police has also succeeded to arrest two Nepalis, for their alleged involvement in the racket, while one was arrested from the same hotel, suspecting his involvement.
As per the news published in Indianexpress.com, the arrested man has been identified as Asha Kali Tamang of Sindhupalchowk and Madan from Nepal. The article also stated that another man from Sunauli is responsible to send Nepali women to India, with the assistance of some other unknown traffickers.
The Maiti Nepal has already informed Nepali Police about the racket and the name of a person from Sunauli.
Maiti Nepal has informed the Manipur Police about the organised syndicate, which sends the girls to the Gulf countries through illegal routes, said Khadka.
“We found that Manipur has emerged as a major transit point for alleged trafficking rackets supplying girls to the Gulf countries through such channels.”
As per the Manipur based, Indo-Myanmar border police, around 50 Nepali women have already crossed Indian border till this week alone.
Khadka said after the government banned women from going to Gulf for employment, traffickers are now taking new routes to smuggle Nepali women.
The traffickers are exploiting the loopholes of open Nepal-Indo and Indo-Myanmar border to smuggle the Nepali women to the Gulf nations, said Khadka. “We estimate that hundreds of Nepali women were already being trafficked in such a manner,” said Khadka.
“Traffickers might have chosen this route because it was easy for the Nepalis to travel inside the India. The Indo-Myanmar border is best corridor for agents, because it is hard for the police to identify the Nepali women in Manipur because the appearance of the North East people are not different from the Indigenous people of Nepal,” said Khadka.
They believed that the route had been used by the traffickers since a long time. The Indian government must take serious action to control the human trafficking.
The police have continued the search operation and the number of rescued Nepali women might increase further. “Manipur is fast becoming a corridor for the trafficking of Nepali women to countries of the Gulf,” said Khadka.  

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