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Rescued Naga girls brought back home

DIMAPUR, NOV 22 (NPN)(Staff Reporter)
Published on 23 Nov. 2011 12:32 AM IST
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Seven Naga girls aged 17-25 (names withheld), who were lured to Chennai in promise of good job opportunities but were lured into prostitution have been brought back.

It may be recalled, that on July 6 this year, Tamil Nadu Police raided a hotel-cum-bar where a Korean national identified as Park Ju Dei was arrested along with nine women from Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland at Nemili, near Sriperumbudur.

Only one of the seven girls was today permitted to interact with the media. The girl, whose name was withheld, said she was “happy to be back home”.

According to a spokesperson of the NBCCWD Miqlat Ministry, the girls, hailing from various districts of the state were, individually, taken to Chennai by “some persons known to them”. Most of the girls came from families who practically lived on a ‘hand-to-mouth’ existence. It was also claimed, that most of the parents of the girls were unaware of what their daughters were doing.  

The spokesperson claimed that while some of the girls were taken to Chennai with “good intention” by some   friends and relatives, some got involved in flesh trade.

“They were not taken by any foreigners but by our own people… the person who knows the environment, situation and family well,” said the representative.

Miqlat Ministry representative revealed that the girls were kept in the house of a Korean family for three months. They were provided with basic necessities and were likely “trained” to serve clients, who were mostly foreigners.

The girls, mostly school dropouts had studied in class three to four, were paid either in Korean,  Singapore currencies or in US Dollars. The girls sent home between Rs. 16000-20000 each month. 

After the police raid, the girls were   lodged in a vigilance home at Chennai for four months. After being informed, the government of Nagaland then referred the case to Miqlat Ministry in August. Chennai Police refused to hand over the girls to Nagaland Police since cases were registered and court order had to be followed.

According to the spokesperson, as per the directive of the Madras High Court, Miqlat was allowed custody of the seven girls on the condition they were kept under its shelter for one year. It was also required to send status report every two months and that if rehabilitation was satisfactory, the cases against them would be dismissed.

Miqlat ministry was accused of delaying the process of getting the girls back and even threatened at times. Many organizations wanted to claim the girls on the plea that Miqlat Ministry could not handle the case.

Clarifying the matter, the Miqlat Ministry spokesperson said the delay was due to late information given to the state by the Chennai Police. However, the spokesperson pointed out that no one could be blamed for the delay since Chennai Police had some practical difficulties in   handing over the girls to the state. 

It was learnt that Miqlat Ministry representatives went to Chennai three times during the months of September and October but had to return back as proper procedures were required. It was only on the third visit in November, that the girls were finally handed over to Miqlat Ministry.

Asked why there was delay in bringing the girls back  a month after the court hearing, the spokesperson said it was because the court directed that  two Chennai Police personnel was to escort each girl and due to assembly elections, the process got delayed.

However, when queried, it was learnt that only nine Chennai police personnel escorted the seven girls back to Nagaland. 
The girls are being imparted skills and looked after physically and spiritually by Miqlat Ministry staff.

Miqlat Ministry would soon open a rehabilitation centre at Purana Bazar where the girls and other ten girls currently under its care, would be given training and also counseling.

Meanwhile,  Miqlat Ministry has expressed gratitude to government of Nagaland and Directorate of Women Development Government of Nagaland for their constant support.

Meanwhile, according to sources, there are still many Naga girls involved in sex trade in Chennai and other metro cities. The sources said the girls were lured/recruited through a well organized sex syndicate in the state. 

It may also be recalled that the Naga Students Union Chennai (NSUC) had exposed how 14 Naga girls between the ages of 20-27, were lured into sex trade carried out by a   Korean national at Sriperumbudur, outskirts of Chennai city.

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