Human trafficking replaces child kidnappings
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Imphal, October 03: PRACTICE OF human trafticking has replaced child kidnapping in Manipur.

Child kidnappings that have long been the dread of the people of Manipur appear to have taken a new form - human trafficking.

After much outcry from the people of the state it was believed that the practice of child kidnapping has gone for good.

However, the continuous news, of reported cases of human trafficking and rescues perhaps confirm that kidnapping has taken another form i.e.human trafficking.

The month of September alone saw about sixty two reported cases of human trafficking and rescues in Manipur; that's about 2 cases a day on average.

Mostly minors ranging between 8-20 years, these 41 girls and 21 boys were taken away from their homes on false promises of decent jobs and 'free education'.

However on allegations that these minors were 'human trafficked', they have been rescued.

The first instance of human trafficking hit the state when an NGO called Department of Social Defence, Chennai informed the Director of Social Welfare, Government of Manipur on August 1.Of the 22 kids including 2 girls who were illegally kept at an unrecognised orphanage run by an NGO named Life Trust near Chennai in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu.

These kids from Moreh in Chandel district were rescued and brought back to the state by volunteers of the Child Welfare Committee Channel on August 30 and handed over to their parents.

It is worth noting that all these kids ranged between 8-12 years of age.

Following this, in yet another suspected case of human trafficking, Dimapur police on September 16, rescued 17 (seventeen) girls and a boy who were being sent to Chennai on false-promises of jobs, in some industry.

They were sent them back to Manipur the same day.

All the girls were from Ukhrul and Senapati districts of Manipur.

According to reports the Dimapur police/received information from Manipur about suspected case of the concerned persons failed to produce any documents about the authenticity of the industries or the factories where the girls were supposed to be employed.

Following this the girls along with boys were escorted back to Manipur by the police.

However, in what could be considered the height of trafficking with international dimensions, 5 girls of the Zeliangrong community reportedly fled a Malaysia night club and has taken shelter in a destitute home at Singapore run by Reverend David of Tamil Nadu.

According to reports, one of the escaped teenage girls revealed that they were lured by Philip Gangmei, a local agent of Abel and Leo Agency Ltd, a job recruiting agency based in Singapore having a strong presence in the North East including Manipur.

The girls recounted, that, they were taken to Singapore and then to Malaysia, added the report.

In this connection, Philip Gangmei was arrested in Imphal where he had come to appear for the Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC) examination.

It may be mentioned here that the district child welfare committee had lodged a first information report (FIR) against Philip on September 22 with the Tamenglong police.

It is also worth recalling here again that in the month of August 2008, five village girls were intercepted on the way to Singapore at Dimapur.

As per reports, the same organisation was involved in this case too.

Drawing much heat from the people of the community the Zeliangrong Union had warned the organisation of a suitable punishment if their involvement in the matter was confirmed.

And the latest news of human trafficking to hit the headlines is the news of eighteen girls who were rescued by security forces at the Sekmai police check post, Imphal West, on September 30.They were rescued from bus No.MN 0l-1852 .

According to reports, the girls ranging from 13 years to 18 years were being taken to Chennai with false promises of decent jobs.

All the girls belong to the Tangkhul community and are from Ukhrul district added the report.

It also informed that the girls were being taken by Apam Kamrang, 30, d/o I Saikap Kamrang of Maichon village in Ukhrul district.

As with the case of child kidnapping that hit the state a few months back this human trafficking has once again created a fear psychosis in the state.

And what the public now fear is that this development could perhaps be the proverbial tip of an iceberg.