Nine were caught trying to catch city-bound Gitanjali Express
Jayatri Nag firstname.lastname@example.org
As many as 18 girls, including two minors, ran away from a shelter home in Kolkata on Friday. These women, rescued from various brothels in KamathipuraareaofMumbai,weresenttoWestBengal for rehabilitation. Being Bangladeshi nationals, they were to be deported soon. While nine of them were caught trying to board Mumbaibound Gitanjali Express at Howrah station last night, others are still missing.
On Friday morning at 6 am, security guards attheAllBengalWomen’sUniononEliotRoad first noticed that the girls had escaped through a second-floor window of the home. They immediately informed the Park Street police. Police stations near the Indo-Bangladesh border and the GRP at Sealdah and Howrah stations were also alerted. After being caught, the nine women were produced in the court on Saturday.
“We have informed the sub-divisional police officers (SDPO) of the bordering districts about the matter. They, in turn, have informed the BSF,” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, joint CP, Crime.
The girls reportedly told police that they escaped because they were being tortured at the rehabilitation home. One Sobha Seth said, “We were not given food. We had no other way but to flee.” Another girl, Sapna Singh, said, “Wewerebeatenupregularlyandtortured.We could not bear it anymore.”
State police, meanwhile rued that hundreds of Bangladeshi women and children trafficked to cities such as Mumbai and Bangalore were sent to West Bengal for rehabilitation just because they spoke Bengali. Last year in December alone, 350 Bangladeshis were sent to Bengal from Mumbai.
“We have repatriated more than 450 women and children to Bangladesh and sent back more than 100 to Mumbai. The Maharashtra police sent them to West Bengal without verifyingtheircitizenship.Thisisnotafairpractice because such a move puts huge pressure on 18 shelter homes run by the West Bengal government and 28 run by NGOs,” said an official of the Women and Child Development Department.
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