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Buying and selling of girls acorss borders a study report by prantakatha for sanlaap

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A situational analysis on cross border trafficking in West Bengal, India. Dated July 2010

A situational analysis on cross border trafficking in West Bengal, India. Dated July 2010

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  • 1. 1|Page CROSS BORDER TRAFFICKING AND REPATRIATION IN NORTH BENGAL A SITUATIONAL REPORT For Sanlaap By PrantakathaIntroductionThe focus of most of the major studies on cross border trafficking so far has been thesouthern region of West Bengal. The reason for this is quite obvious. Kolkata serves as ahub of all such nefarious and exploitive activities. It is also a convenient stop fortraffickers from neighbouring Bangladesh and Nepal, known sources in the "supply"line. All players and stakeholders in this field use this city as their base and a transitpoint as well. From the point of view of data collection and in-depth studies, it isconvenient and economical to concentrate on nearby districts like North and South 24Paraganas. The border districts of North Bengal e.g., Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri, and Uttarand Dakshin Dinajpur were almost left out of any comprehensive enquiry on the natureand magnitude of cross border trafficking. One of the most vulnerable points aboutNorth Bengal is that it has 14 entry points with Nepal. Almost 30 per cent of the porousborder is riverine. Safe Migration Project which operates in some of the districts inSouth Bengal has not yet been introduced in North Bengal.ObjectiveThe objective of this situational analysis is to fill in this gap in coverage of North Bengalwhich has around 1500 km of international border with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.This may be considered as a primary step towards building up a foundation of strongdatabase for statistical analysis and integrated information in future on the issues ofcross border trafficking and modes of repatriation.
  • 2. 2|PageUniverseFive border districts of were selected: Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri, Dakshin Dinajpur, Maldaand Murshidabad. Two separate border areas/transit points in each district werechosen.QuestionnaireThe questionnaire was prepared with the objective of capturing different dimensions ofcross border trafficking together with the modes and frequency of repatriation. Thequestions related to the following points: • Length of border in the concerned district with and without fence • Transit points used for cross border trafficking • Number of repatriation /push back cases and the extent of involvement of NGOs in the process • Repatriation of Indian girls from Bangladesh and their integration with the mainstream of the society. • Frequency and routes of migration and costs involved when it takes place without valid documents. • Number of girls reported missing in police stations at identified transit points. • Number of Bangladeshi girls reported found in police stations at identified transit points. • Level of awareness about risks involved in illegal migration among villagers near transit points • Number of traffickers by the police at transit points • Sensitivity of the local administration with respect to cross border trafficking.Sources of InformationCommunity based organizations and individuals who have work experience on issuesconcerning women and children were engaged in filling up the questionnaire. Theinterviewer gathered information at the village level near transit points on one-to-one
  • 3. 3|Pagebasis from ordinary villagers, members of Gram Panchayat, primary school teachers,government officials and BSF personnel.PeriodDecember, 2009 – May, 2010Difficulties • For most of the CBOs and individuals this was the first ever attempt to collect this type of information. • The study could not have been based on a broader area covering more transit points within a district due to the lack of infrastructure, trained investigators and above all sufficient financial resources required for such a survey. • Trafficking in women and children is a highly sensitive issue. Most of the respondents are usually reluctant to disclose anything and they could not be pushed for detailed information. This is equally true for administrative and BSF personnel.Cross boarder trafficking situation in Jalpaiguri
  • 4. 4|Page ় েজলা Jôlpaiguṛi) is the largest district of North Bengal,Jalpaiguri district (Bengali: জলপাইগুড়ি ডcovering an area 6,245 km2. It is situated between 26° 16 and 27° 0 North latitudes and 88° 4and 89° 53 East longitudes. The district was established in 1869.The headquarters of the district are at Jalpaiguri town, which is also the divisional headquarter ofnorth Bengal and has its special importance in respect of tourism, forest, hills, tea gardens, scenicbeauty and a wide variety of tribes like the Totos, etc.
  • 5. 5|Page Questions JalpaiguriWhat is the length of border with 52 Kms - Haldibari, MekhligunzBangladesh in your district?(mention thename of boarder areas)Is that area completely covered with Not Totally Coveredfencing? If not, please mention areas 35 Kms uncoveredWhat are the transit points in your district Mekhligunje with respect to cross boarder trafficking?How many repatriation/push back 10 - 12 per monthhappened through this boarder in lastone year?Which has been the NGOs involved in this Very fewrepatriation process in your district?Is there any girl of Indian origin who has No informationcome back from Bangladesh throughrepatriation in last one year?If any repatriation from Bangladesh Kusuli Tudu was brought to a village of Mekhligunge. happened to India how the girl is Local villagers resist the trafficker and the girl was sent toreintegrated in the community? her house.How frequent the migration happens over It happens everyday night. In any case if there is anythe border from villages near to boarders? problem occurs in borders the process stops for some days only. Some local people are engaged in this work.What is the cost involved for one person Rs 500 to 1000 per personto cross boarder without valid documents?What is the route of migration over border? through lands, Fish Trawlers etcIn last one year how many girls have been Very limited complaints inreported missing in police stations at the identified police stations at transit points. In any of the cases J.J.Acttransit points? was not applied.
  • 6. 6|PageIn last one year how many girls have been 11 girls are reported to bereported found having Bangladeshi origin in police Bangladeshistations at the identified transit points?What is the level of awareness among only the people related with local administrations andvillagers at transit points regarding the risk of illegal panchayets are little aware in this regardmigration?How many persons allegedly traffickers have No Trafficker was arrested.been arrested by Police from transit points? Some time special cases are made in this issueHow sensitized is the local administration Only 1 or 2 officers who got training previously knowswith respect to cross boarder trafficking? about this.Cross boarder trafficking situation in Maldah
  • 7. 7|PageMalda district (Bengali: মালদা েজলা) is a district of the Indian state of West Bengal. It lies 347kilometers northnorth of Kolkata, the state capital. This district is notable for the production ofmango and silk. The folk culture of gombhira is a feature of the district, being a unique way ofrepresentation of joy and sorrow of daily life of the common people, as well as the uniquemedium of presentation on national and international matters.District headquarters is English Bazar, also known as Malda, which was once the capital ofBengal. The district maintains the tradition of the past in culture and education. Old Maldah, thetown which lies just east of the confluence of the Mahananda and Kalindi rivers, is part of theEnglish Bazar urban agglomeration. The town rose to prominence as the river port of the oldcapital of Pandua. During the 18th century it was the seat of prosperous cotton and silkindustries. It remains an important distributing centre for rice, jute, and wheat. Historicalmonuments include the mosque Jami Masjid (1566) and the landmark Nimasari tower across theriver. Constituted a municipality in 1867, it has several colleges affiliated with the University ofNorth Bengal. Rice, jute, legumes, and oilseed are the chief crops in the surrounding area.
  • 8. 8|PageMulberry plantations and mango orchards occupy large areas; mango trade and silk manufactureare the main economic activities. Questions MaldaWhat is the length of border with 173.35 KmsBangladesh in your district?(mention the Land - 158.35 Kmsname of boarder areas) Riverine - 15 kmsIs that area completely covered with Not Totally Coveredfencing? If not, please mention areas 40 Kms uncoveredWhat are the transit points in your district with respect to cross boarder trafficking? Kumvira(Baishnabnagar), Gopalgunj (Kaliachak), Mohadipur (English Bazar), Joharatata (EB), Mahadebpur (Old Malda) ( Border - Muchia, Adompur), Singabad (Habibpur), Dalla (Habibpur), Ashrampur (Bamongola), Adadanga(Bamongola), Jajal (Habibpur), Pardewyanapur( Baishnabnagar), Mohadipur (PS - English Bazar) is Govt recognised border.How many repatriation/push back 60-80 repatriated last yearhappened through this boarder in last No push Back system is persisting nowone year?Which has been the NGOs involved in this No Ngos are involved.repatriation process in your district? Only BSF and BDR are involvedIs there any girl of Indian origin who hascome back from Bangladesh through No record found in last yearrepatriation in last one year?If any repatriation from Bangladesh happened to India how the girl isreintegrated in the community? By the information of DIB/BSF 5-6 in last one year
  • 9. 9|PageHow frequent the migration happens overthe border from villages near to boarders? Nearly every dayWhat is the cost involved for one personto cross boarder without valid documents? Rs 300 per head (single person) Rs 250 per head (when more than one)What is the route of migration over border? Not AvailableIn last one year how many girls have beenreported missing in police stations at the identified On an average 7-8 yearlytransit points?In last one year how many girls have beenreported found having Bangladeshi origin in police 9stations at the identified transit points?What is the level of awareness amongvillagers at transit points regarding the risk of illegal No awareness among themigration? villagers. More often they are involved in illegal migration for quick money, for which sometimes they get arrested also by BSF.How many persons allegedly traffickers have 10 to 20 people per monthbeen arrested by Police from transit points? is arrested from the transit pointsHow sensitized is the local administrationwith respect to cross boarder trafficking? Administration takes initiatives only when there is pressure from Upper levels.Cross boarder trafficking situation in MurshidabadMurshidabad district (Bengali: মুড়ি শিদাবাদ েজলা) is a district of West Bengal in eastern India. র্শিSituated on the left bank of the river Ganges, the district is very fertile. Covering an area of
  • 10. 10 | P a g e5,341 km² (2,062 sq mi) and having a population 5.863m (according to 2001 census) it is adensely populated district. The Baharampur town is the headquarters of the district.The Murshidabad city, which lends its name to the district, was the seat of power of the Nawabsof Bangla. All of Bengal was once governed from this town. Few years after Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula lost to the British at the Battle of Plassey, the capital of Bengal was moved to the newlyfounded city of Calcutta.It borders West Bengals Malda district to the north, Birbhum to the west, Bardhaman to thesouth-west and Nadia district due south. The international border with Bangladeshs Rajshahidivision is on the east. Questions MurshidabadWhat is the length of border withBangladesh in your district?(mention thename of boarder areas) 128 Km
  • 11. 11 | P a g eIs that area completely covered with Not Totally Coveredfencing? If not, please mention areas 39 Kms uncoveredWhat are the transit points in your district with respect to cross boarder trafficking? Kaharpara (Under Raninagar P.S) Basitpur (Suh P.S)How many repatriation/push backhappened through this boarder in last No records foundone year?Which has been the NGOs involved in this Sanlaap - According to BSFrepatriation process in your district? and PoliceIs there any girl of Indian origin who has 3 girls from Central Jailcome back from Bangladesh through Berhampore - according to Jail Authorityrepatriation in last one year?If any repatriation from Bangladesh 3 to 4 girls. Right Jessore was the happened to India how the girl is partner in this processreintegrated in the community?How frequent the migration happens over the border from villages near to boarders? It happens everyday. In any case if there is any problem occurs in borders the process stops for some days only.What is the cost involved for one personto cross boarder without valid documents? Rs 500 - 800 per personWhat is the route of migration over border? Firstly after crossing the borders they stay in a local village house. Then they acquire many women from different locations and traffic all of them at a time to Bombay / DelhiIn last one year how many girls have been 14 girls are missing from thereported missing in police stations at the identified transit points Police Stations. In any of the cases J.J.Acttransit points? was not applied.In last one year how many girls have beenreported found having Bangladeshi origin in police 37 traffickers. All are in Jail now.stations at the identified transit points?
  • 12. 12 | P a g eWhat is the level of awareness amongvillagers at transit points regarding the risk of illegalmigration? Villagers who are little aware they knows it. Teachers are very much aware in the villages.How many persons allegedly traffickers have Kalu ghosh in jail since last 5 years.been arrested by Police from transit points? Sabita was arrested but bailed laterHow sensitized is the local administrationwith respect to cross boarder trafficking? Nobody knows accept few BSF OfficersCross boarder trafficking situation in Dakshin DinajpurSouth Dinajpur district or Dakshin Dinajpur district (Bengali: দি কণ ি দনাজপুড়র েজলা) is a ্শিষিdistrict of West Bengal state of India. The district was created on April 1, 1992. The districtcomprises two subdivisions: Balurghat subdivision and Gangarampur subdivision.
  • 13. 13 | P a g e Questions Dakkhin DinajpurWhat is the length of border with Total 252 KmsBangladesh in your district?(mention the Hili - 60 Kms, Balurghat - 65Kmsname of boarder areas) Kumargunj - 19 Kms, Tapan - 24 Kms, Gangarampur - 36 Kms , Kashmandy - 18 KmsIs that area completely covered with Not Totally Coveredfencing? If not, please mention areas 49 Kms uncovered
  • 14. 14 | P a g eWhat are the transit points in your districtwith respect to cross boarder trafficking? Please find the scanned copies of detail points at annexure 1How many repatriation/push backhappened through this boarder in last Only one in last yearone year?Which has been the NGOs involved in this Women Interlink foundation 2005 - 2008repatriation process in your district? Bahumukhi Gramin Sanstha from 2009Is there any girl of Indian origin who hascome back from Bangladesh through Yes. Saraswati Malo, Age -15 yrsrepatriation in last one year?If any repatriation from Bangladesh One repatriation case, no rehabilitation, re trafficking . happened to India how the girl is The Muslim Communities marginalizing victims by tellingreintegrated in the community? them, they are no more Muslims by religion after trafficked.How frequent the migration happens overthe border from villages near to boarders? Most frequent through Non- fenced border spots. Traffickers bring them along with their parent up to Kolkata or Malda. Frome there they traffic the girls by telling them that they will be meeting their parentsWhat is the cost involved for one person Rs 150 to 200 are required perto cross boarder without valid documents? person to cross the border without valid documents. In case they caught by BSFs the traffickers bribes BSFs to cross the borderWhat is the route of migration over border? No answerIn last one year how many girls have been 2 girls age 14 and 15 respectivelyreported missing in police stations at the identified from Kumargunge and Hilitransit points?
  • 15. 15 | P a g eIn last one year how many girls have been No Govt record isreported found having Bangladeshi origin in police available in this pointstations at the identified transit points?What is the level of awareness among 15-20 % people are awarevillagers at transit points regarding the risk of illegal 30% people knows or aware about illigal migration butmigration? they are allured by the money due to their financial crisis. Rest 50 % of people are absolutely unaware of illigal migrationHow many persons allegedly traffickers have Police said that, no arrest isbeen arrested by Police from transit points? possible in transit points under Trafficking act.How sensitized is the local administration Local administration are notwith respect to cross boarder trafficking? awared about the nitigrities of the Cross Border trafficking as there is no awreness from Govt level.Cross boarder trafficking situation in Dakshin Dinajpur
  • 16. 16 | P a g eNorth Dinajpur district or Uttar Dinajpur district ( Bengali: উত্শিতর ি দনাজপুড়র েজলা) ( uttarmeaning North) came into existence on 1992-04-01 after the bifurcation of erstwhile WestDinajpur District. The District lies between latitude 25°11 N to 26°49 N and longitude 87°49 Eto 90°00 E occupying an area of 3142 km² enclosed by Bangladesh on the east, Bihar on thewest, Darjeeling District and Jalpaiguri District on the north and Malda District and SouthDinajpur District on the south. Uttar Dinajpur is well connected with the rest of the state throughNational Highways, State Highways and Railways. NH-31 and NH-34 pass through the heart ofthe district.The regional topography is generally flat with a gentle southerly slope towards which the mainrivers like Kulik, Nagar, Mahananda. The District forms a part of the basin lying betweenRajmahal hills on the east. The older alluvium is estimated to be Pleistocene age. Uttar Dinajpuris bestowed with a very fertile soil. The soil is very rich in nature due to the alluvial depositionwhich helps to grow Paddy, Jute, Mesta and Sugarcane etc. Raiganj on the banks of the RiverKulik is the District Headquarters where the "Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary", the second largestbird sanctuary in Asia, is situated.
  • 17. 17 | P a g e Questions Uttar DinajpurWhat is the length of border withBangladesh in your district?(mention thename of boarder areas) 257 kmsIs that area completely covered withfencing? If not, please mention areas Not Totally Covered 47 kms uncovered
  • 18. 18 | P a g eWhat are the transit points in your districtwith respect to cross boarder trafficking? Dinhata, ChangrabandaHow many repatriation/push backhappened through this boarder in last 4 in last yearone year?Which has been the NGOs involved in thisrepatriation process in your district? Hardly any NGO involvedIs there any girl of Indian origin who hascome back from Bangladesh through No informationrepatriation in last one year?If any repatriation from Bangladesh happened to India how the girl isreintegrated in the community? Two repatriation case, more cases within tribal communitiesHow frequent the migration happens overthe border from villages near to boarders? Frequent through on fenced boarder aresWhat is the cost involved for one personto cross boarder without valid documents? same as Dakshin DinajpurWhat is the route of migration over border? mostly Through RaigungeIn last one year how many girls have beenreported missing in police stations at the identified Hardly any recordtransit points?
  • 19. 19 | P a g eIn last one year how many girls have beenreported found having Bangladeshi origin in police 12 traffickers, 8 of them got bailstations at the identified transit points?What is the level of awareness amongvillagers at transit points regarding the risk of illegalmigration? Hardly anyHow many persons allegedly traffickers havebeen arrested by Police from transit points? No one, as police says due to lack of evidenceHow sensitized is the local administrationwith respect to cross boarder trafficking? Only 1 or 2 officers who got training previously knows about this.Summary & Conclusion:In a nutshell the above study lights up the flowing points with regard to cross boardertrafficking in North Bengal • There is huge need for information sourcing on human trafficking situation at North Bengal, given the severe lack of study at this part of Bengal • There is strong need of counter human trafficking work by Civil Society Organisaiton in North Bengal • Due to porous boarder, cross boarder trafficking is rampant • There is hardly any sensitization of officials either at Indian and at Bangladesh side • There is also hardly any record of missing girls at police stations • There is an array of transit points used for trafficking in each district • Rampant push back is happening through these districts • Hardly any case of repatriation is happeningAnnexure- I
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