Immoral trafficking in women needs to be contained in Himachal – DGP

Shimla: With more and more cases of immoral trafficking in women cropping up, especially along the Parwanoo-Shimla highway, only 25 cases having been registered under Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA) in the last years may not correctly reflect the problem, is what came up at a presentation held by the state police.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) disclosed that incidents of sale of girls by way of forced marriages have been reported from Shillai area of Sirmaur, Outer Seraj in Kullu. Because of skewed sex ratio in neighboring Haryana, most of such marriages take place into that state, the CID stated.

Punita Bhardwaj, SP CID said “Though there have been reports of girls being forcibly married for monetary considerations from Sirmaur into parts of Haryana, but on conducting and informal survey no one came forth to establish that such transactions did or do take place.”

She said that be it forced marriage for monetary consideration, forcibly employing women labour or sexual exploitation, they all were aspects of human trafficking.

“Being a socio-cultural problem, the police had to act within the ambit of law while dealing with such cases as there are many grey areas,” said DS Manhas, DGP Himachal. “The problem can only be handled through joint efforts by society and the police, he added.

Ambika Sood, Chairperson of the State Commission for Women, advocating the need for joint efforts to contain the problem said, “at a camp in Shillai, when women were asked to express their problems, none spoke about sale of women or girls from the area.”

On record, till June 2010 there were 294 women and 156 men who figured as missing or had disappeared on the CID records whereas the children missing numbered 39 girls and 51 boys.

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