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Bid to traffic 4 girls from Jalpaiguri tea gardens foiled

Presence of mind along with prompt action by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) saved 4 girls including a juvenile from being trafficked from the tea gardens of Jalpaiguri in North Bengal. Two traffickers were also arrested in connection with this incident.

On Wednesday night, RPF personnel while conducting checks at the Jalpaiguri Road Station came across the 4 girls along with two men. The RPF personnel started questioning them. RPF officers questioned the girls separately. Their statements did not match with each other further raising doubts.

It was then the turn of the two men to be questioned. Interrogation revealed that these two men were attempting to traffic the 4 girls under the pretext of taking them to attend a marriage ceremony. The two were arrested. Past records showed that these two were involved in human trafficking luring girls with job offers.

While two of the girls hail from Karala ValleyTea Estate, the other two are from Damdim Tea Estate.

 One of the trafficker's Chandra Kumar (30 years) also hails from Damdim. The other Bablu Sahu resides at Madhubani in Bihar. They were handed over to the Government Railway Police (GRP.)

'Initially the traffickers claimed that they were accompanying the girls who were going to attend a wedding in Siliguri. We checked their bags. The bags contained documents which revealed that they were taking the girls to Delhi. Interrogation revealed that they had offered lucrative jobs to the girls' stated Aditya Kumar Meena, Sub Inspector, RPF.

They had planned to travel to Delhi by the Brahmaputra Express which travels from Dibrugarh to Delhi. They were scheduled to board the train at 10.40 pm from the Jalpaiguri Rail Gate station. However they were nabbed before they could board the train.

'At present migration is posing the greatest challenge as persons migrating are the most vulnerable o trafficking' stated Noreen Dunne, educationist and social worker.

According to National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) reports 15 districts of West Bengal are highly vulnerable to migration. In North Bengal the Jalpaiguri district has the highest rate of out migration. 'Closed tea gardens coupled with instability mainly political unrest is causing greater migration' feels Dunne.

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