DIMPAUR, Nov 23 – Seven Naga girls who were rescued from the clutches of flesh trade in Chennai during July this year were brought home on November 13 last by members of the Miqlat Ministry.
The Ministry was assigned the task by the Directorate of Women Development and the Nagaland Government.
The release of the girls (name withheld) was ordered by a Chennai Court on October 13 with the condition that they be escorted till Nagaland by two Chennai Police personnel for each rescued girl.
However, the case against them will be dismissed only after Chennai High Court reviews the character and behaviour of the girls after one year and finds it satisfactory. A progress report has to be sent by the Ministry every two months.
The girls reached home only now because there were reportedly no police personnel to spare owing to the Tamil Nadu election.
All victims of human trafficking, the seven girls were arrested on July 6 by Tamil Nadu Police along with one Korean international, identified as Park Ju Dei, for running a prostitution racket under the pretext of running a hotel cum bar at Nemili near Sriperambudur in Chennai. Seven other Northeastern girls from Manipur and Mizoram were also arrested along with the Naga girls, it was learnt.
The girls from Nagaland, mostly aged between 17 to 25, were sent to a Vigilance Home in Chennai after their arrest and kept there along with the other NE girls. The girls from Manipur and Mizoram are reportedly still under the custody of the Chennai vigilance commission.
Addressing a press conference today, members of the Miqlat Ministry informed that the rescued girls will be kept under their care for rehabilitation for a year or more depending on the wish of the girls.
The mission of bringing back the girls back home was assigned to Miqlat in August. However, despite the team making two trips down to Chennai along with Nagaland Police, the vigilance home refused to release the girls since the case was registered in Chennai High Court, and the team did not have certain required documents of the said case. The girls will be housed at Miqlat Ministry for shelter and rehabilitation.
On the promise of lucrative jobs and other opportunities, the seven Naga girls had become victims of human trafficking. The case scenario being that the victims were gullible coupled with ignorance of their parents. Another matter of serious concern is the growing evidence of the existence of trafficking nexus operated by the locals here.
According to Miqlat Ministry, most of the girls are school dropouts and children of poor farmers or daily wage earners. They were tricked to the city with rich promises and then sold for flesh trade by locals.
“Since they don’t have educational qualifications, it added to their vulnerability,” Miqlat Ministry Director said, adding that the rescued girls had themselves revealed their unexpected journey to the illegal and immoral profession. “With limited job opportunities, girls from the NE States are easily lured for lucrative jobs and better opportunities,” she said.
Stating that these girls had sent enough money home with their handsome earnings, the Miqlat Director, however, said parents of the girls had been ignorant of their children’s profession.