Hyderabad: Director-General of Police M Mahendar Reddy on Wednesday said there must be zero tolerance towards human trafficking.
Organised gang members involved in the crime should be identified and their property should be confiscated. The Preventive Detention (PD) Act should be invoked on repeat offenders, he said after inaugurating a day-long State-level conference on Anti-Human Trafficking at Dr MCRHRD Institute, Jubilee Hills.
Officers should also change their approach towards victims. The psychological state of the victims should be understood and they must not be treated as offenders, he said, stating that officers must be empathetic, sensitive and should take the responsibility beyond the duty.
“They should be sensitised, have knowledge of law and procedures in addressing the crime. Case studies will help master trainers train field officers,” Reddy said, adding that the number of victims from the State in such cases had dipped drastically and stakeholders should work in convergence for eradicating the crime from the grassroots.
IG (Women Safety Wing) Swati Lakra said police personnel should update themselves regularly to identify the technology used for trafficking. Standard operating procedures (SOP) were already prepared for the field officers to be followed, she said, adding that investigation must have a scientific approach in collecting material evidence rather than depending on the victim as a witness. Scientific evidence will increase the conviction rate.
Women and Child Welfare Department Joint Director KRS Lakshmi Devi said convergence between departments and support from NGOs for women and children protection in the peripheral areas of the State was essential. The reasons for being trafficked were financial and cultural factors. Most of them were trafficked after being lured in the name of employment, more wages and cinema roles. Cultural factors like ‘Jogini’ and ‘Mathangi’ and certain auspicious places were targeted by traffickers, she said.
Around 100 police officers from across the State and representatives of various NGOs were present.
City NIA unit books its first human trafficking case
The city unit of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has booked its first human trafficking case under provisions of the recently amended NIA Act against three persons, including a woman.
The case relates to three persons — Mohammed Yousuf Khan, Bithi Begum and Sojib, all natives of West Bengal — who were staying in Hyderabad and were arrested by the Chatrinaka police in April for their alleged involvement in trafficking of Bangladeshi women to Hyderabad and their sexual exploitation.
The police rescued five women after a raid. On August 9, the case was transferred from the Chatrinaka police station to the Central Crime Station (CCS).
According to the police, Khan and Bithi Begum alias Khadija Shaik were running a prostitution racket with trafficked Bangladeshi women near Kandikal Gate at Baji Nagar in Uppuguda.
Based on information, the Chatrinaka police searched the premises on April 21 and arrested Khan, Bithi Begum and Sojib and rescued five women.
Owing to the gravity of the offence and its inter-State and cross-border connections, the case was taken over by the NIA for a detailed investigation.