Berhampur: Two held for trafficking girls to Andhra Pradesh

Berhampur: Two persons, including a woman, were arrested for allegedly trafficking teenage girls from Kandhamal district to Andhra Pradesh, police said today.

The girls were rescued by a Kandhamal police team from a textile mill, their workplace in Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday, said Sub-Divisional Police Officer of (Baliguda) S N Murmu.

Police swung into action when their parents lodged complaints, alleging that their daughters had been kidnapped, he said.

The accused, Meenaketan Reddy of Narasinghapur in Ganjam district and Sukanti Malllick of Majamaha in Kandhamal district were arrested yesterday, police said.

The accused had taken four girls on July 7 from Majamaha to East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh without the knowledge of their parents, police said

The traffickers had lured the girls by promising them jobs with Rs 5,000 remuneration a month, besides accommodation at their workplace, he said. But the girls lived in unhygienic conditions and worked for 10 to 12 hours a day, alleged Sudhir Sabat, a child rights campaigner.

With this, police rescued 25 children, including 16 girls, from different places as well as outside the state since July 1 under ‘Operation Muskan’. Some of the rescued children were trafficked, while several girls had been kidnapped, said incharge officer, integrated anti-trafficking unit (IATU), Kandhamal, Baidehi Kumari Behera.

She said six persons, including four men and two women, were arrested for allegedly trafficking and kidnapping teenage girls during this period. The personnel fo IATU rescued a 16-year old girl of Bramhanigaon and her lover from MKCG Medical College and Hospital here on July 15. The girl, a school dropout, was four months pregnant. Her lover, who is from the same area, was also arrested, she said.

Similarly, police rescued a 15-year old girl from Maoist-hit Kotagarh area, Behera said.