Indo-Bangla border: A safe haven for trafficking of women and children

Altogether 13 women were apprehended from Tripura sector and one was apprehended from Meghalaya sector

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Porous Indo-Bangla border has become a safe haven for trafficking of women and children. Human trafficking from across the border continues unabated despite several steps being taken along the India-Bangladesh border to stop infiltration.

The trafficked women are being forced into flash trade.

According to the records available with the Home Ministry, 159 women were apprehended by the border security force (BSF) along the eastern frontier till February this year. Altogether 13 women were apprehended from Tripura sector and one was apprehended from Meghalaya sector while 145 women were apprehended from West Bengal sector. Similarly, 58 children were apprehended by the security forces during the same period. Nine children were apprehended from Tripura and 49 were apprehended in West Bengal sector.

“We are trying to stop this trend of trafficking but in spite of our efforts this issue is still on,” a senior official in the home ministry told Northeast Now.

The records, however, said that 574 women were apprehended in 2017 whereas 1062 women were apprehended in 2016.

According to the records 123 children were apprehended in 2017 and 225 children were apprehended in 2016.

“There are some patches of unfenced area on Indo-Bangladesh border, including some riverine area. However, even on these unfenced patches, constant vigil is maintained by BSF personnel to ward off any attempt of unauthorized infiltration and entry and adequate manpower is in place,” the official said.

BSF has taken various steps to curb trans border crimes, which, inter-alia, include strengthening of sensitive Border Out Posts (BOPs) by deploying additional manpower, using hi-tech surveillance equipments, border fencing, installation of border floodlights, Simultaneous Coordinated Patrolling (SCP) with Border Guards of Bangladesh on the border, conduct of special operations, up-gradation of intelligence network, coordination with other relevant agencies and conducting workshops and training programmes on Human Trafficking with NGOs, UNODC and UNHCR.

“With such joint efforts of the security forces of both the countries, we can at least expect that the trend will certainly come to end some day,” the official said.

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