Members of “Ban Ganga-Jamuna” campaign, a social movement led by the residents of Nagpur, applauded the police action on Thursday which led to the rescue of minor girls forced into prostitution. The police action also unearthed several cases of blatant violation of law within the Ganga Jamuna red light area.
Minor trafficking is quite rampant in Ganga Jamuna. Yesterday, a police action led by DCP (Crime) Gajanan Rajmane and Zonal DCP Lohit Matani, led to the arrest of 129 people and rescue of 8 minor girls from the red-light area. In October, the police had rescued 14 young girls who were trafficked from different states and pushed into the red-light district in Nagpur.
“We welcome such bold action by the police. We have been fighting over the last few years to curb such criminal activities in and around Ganga Jamuna due to the presence of the red light area. The area is fast becoming a major hub of all kinds of crime, especially atrocities against women. The police have done many such raids in the past too and the members of the campaign will always support the authorities,” says Sunil Gotafode, a social activist and member of the campaign.
Nagpur stands seventh nationally for crime against women, according to the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau. Statewide, as many as 105 women go missing every day and 17 get trafficked every week in Maharashtra, states the NCRB data. Of the total POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) girl victims, 47% are sexually assaulted and 48% are raped in the state.
“We fear that after the pandemic, more and more girls will be victimised and pushed into flesh trade. Girls and young women from Vidarbha districts who are badly hit with poverty and unemployment are most vulnerable. They will be tricked and trafficked. Even the city girls are vulnerable. To effectively curb trafficking and other crimes, we demand a permanent closure of the red-light area and other centres where exploitation of girls and women is rampant,” says Bhumika Gotafode, an active member of the campaign.
As to what will happen to the victims of trafficking and sex workers, Gotafode suggests that the civil society and govt authorities should work towards rehabilitation of these women and girls into the society. “it is possible to give a new lease of life to these women and enable them to stand on their own feet,” he adds.