Human trafficking. This is unacceptable and the possibility of the involvement of big names cannot be ruled out.
Poverty plus the yearning to ensure a better future for one’s child is the underlining factor for parents to willingly hand over their children, mostly young girls, to people who then traffick them to other parts of the country and the world.
In the present case of Churachandpur, the money involved must be big, for if one goes by reports that have been coming in, then all the girls were taken across the border to foreign destinations.
So far reports have come in of young girls who have been rescued from foreign countries, ostensibly while they were being taken to other destinations and it is to get down to the bottom of the matter that Churachandpur police under its SP, Rakesh Balwal have formed a Special Investigation Team.
This is a laudable move and should be acknowledged.
One only hopes that the good move initiated does not peter out due to indifference and clout of those involved in human trafficking.
The modus operandi of the traffickers will not be hard to crack. Promise something good.
Maybe free education and a home for the young children and the opportunity afforded by such things as free education will be hard to resist for poverty stricken families.
This is what seems to be happening in the human trafficking case of Churachandpur.
The State Government should not sleep over the matter.
The Churachandpur SP has already set up a SIT and it is only right that the State Government studies how to broaden the scope of the SIT and see if other districts of the State can also be monitored and studied for such cases.
It was sometime in the summer of 2013, when an individual Jacob John grabbed the headlines in all the dailies published in Imphal.
The story was not exactly human trafficking and had to do more with how young girls, taken from Manipur to Grace Home in Jaipur, were subjected to sexual assaults but the present case coming close to what happened to the girls at Grace Home in Jaipur cannot be ruled out.
All indications that there are elements who will not hesitate to milk the poverty situation of numerous parents today.
What is more worrying is the fact that the trafficking of young children would not have been possible without the active participation of local people, women and men, who the parents trust enough to hand over their children.
It is this what is happening at Churachandpur.
All the individuals picked up thus far are all local people and obviously must have been very close to the parents of the young girls to win their confidence and take the young girls away under promises that only the parents could have dreamt about.
On the other hand it is also a reflection of how the much publicised programmes launched by the Government to ensure education and protection of young children, particularly the girl child, have fallen flat on its face.
Pull up all those involved in the trafficking ring and at the same time educate parents on the ugly reality of life where there are elements who will not hesitate to use their children for their own gains.