Friday, June 13, 2008

42 rescued while being trafficked to India

42 rescued while being trafficked to India
BSF sends back 211 others

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) rescued a group of 42 people, including 24 children, as they were being trafficked into India through Char Majhardiar border point on the outskirts of Rajshahi city on Wednesday night.

With this the total number of people rescued since May 13, rose to 112.

None of the traffickers were however arrested. The rescued people all come from Sidr-hit Khulna and Narail districts.

They were being taken to India with promises of jobs there.

The BDR Battalion of no 37, acting on a tip-off, challenged the large group at Char Majhardiar, a few yards off the Indian border at around 11:00 pm.

The group then confessed that they were being taken to India but that they did not have any legal travel documents.

They told BDR that they had paid the traffickers Tk 3000 each for the promised jobs in India. Badrul Sheikh and Nazma Begum, two of the people rescued, told reporters that some local agents convinced them about good jobs in India.

They named one such agent to be Amir Ali, from of Pirla village under Kalia upazila in Narail.

Bazle Rijvi Al Hasan Munjil, Haripur union chairman who helped in the rescue told newsmen that Abdus Sattar and Kader Bangal from Char Majhardiar, Nuru from Balia and Mantu from Gahmabona was leading the group to India.

Meanwhile the rescued people were handed over to Rajpara police station. BDR Nayek Subedar Mustafijur Rahman lodged a case in this regard, accusing Amir Ali, police said.

Human trafficking incidents have increased alarmingly in the northwestern frontier of Rajshahi. Organised international traffickers have built a strong network in the region taking advantage of people's poverty, sources in BDR and police said.

False promises of jobs and marriages in India and Middle East countries are used to lure poor people in the area. Sometimes the traffickers themselves pose as grooms and take girls across the border as their wives.

"In such kind of situations, there is little that law enforcement agencies can do, " Rajshahi DIG Mokhlesur Rahman said.

Rahman suggested launching a massive awareness campaign at grassroots level by the administration, local governments, NGOs and other socio-cultural bodies.

Our Benapole correspondent adds: Indian Border Security Force (BSF) members handed over a total of 211 Bangladeshis -- who had been languishing in an Indian jail for the last two years -- to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and police over the last four days.

They were handed back through the Benapole check post.

BSF sent back 49 people yesterday, 53 on Wednesday, 56 on Tuesday and 53 others on Monday.

On their return, the Bangladeshis said human traffickers had taken them to India with promises of employment but police arrested them and sent them to jail.

Sources said Bangladesh Women Lawyers Association contacted the authorities of Damdam jail, where these people had been confined, through the Bangladesh High Commission in India to bring them back home.

The victims are from Jessore, Madaripur, Faridpur, Sylhet, Sirajganj, Magura, Feni, Narail, Jhenidah, Sunamganj, Pirozpur, Narayanganj and Chandpur.

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