Wednesday, September 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

NGO: 5,000 sex slaves whom officials call
‘bought brides’
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 2
After yesterday’s recovery of five girls brought from Assam and West Bengal and sold in the Hathin area of Mewat region, the authorities concerned have been trying to justify the “illegal” marriages and human trafficking.

Shakti Vahini, an NGO, said nearly 5,000 girls had been victims of human trafficking. Mr Ravikant, Director of the NGO, said the girls, though brought here as brides, were also used as sex slaves.

He said their marriage to locals could not be justified as the brides were minors. Studies showed that the girls were bought for paltry sums from parents or brokers. Neither the Muslim Personal Law nor the Marriage Act allowed such marriages, but the practice has caught on as the poor girls have been accepting these to run away from poverty in the source areas.

He alleged that the authorities concerned were trying to save themselves by saying that the purchase of brides was related to the skewed sex ratio in the state and docile attitudes of the victims.

“The issue is not whether the victims are complaining or not, but that the sale and purchase of minors for sexual exploitation or forced marriage is against all laws. The authorities concerned, instead of taking a corrective action have been blaming it on social attitudes” he said.

A girl recovered in a raid at Hathin yesterday was aged 14 and mother of a one-year-old child. The Social Welfare Department had failed to rehabilitate the rescued girls.

While the police in the neighbouring district of Gurgaon feigned no information on the sale and purchase of girls there, the NGO knew of at least 15 such minors living at Noor village of Gurgaon district. All recoveries so far had been only on the initiative of the NGO and the police had lent a minor help in conducting raids.

“The problem may get ignored just for political reasons,” Mr Ravikant of Shakti Vahini said. Meanwhile, the 16-year-old Sabina Begum rescued yesterday has been lodged in Women’s Hostel in Sector 16 here. The CMO, Dr S.P.S. Bhatia, said the Juvenile Welfare Board was likely to give its report regarding the age of the girl soon, but he had no knowledge where the girl would be lodged after the report came out. 

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |