Kathmandu, November 19
Seven Nepali trafficking victims, including four minor girls and three women below 20 years of age, were rescued from a brothel in Assam yesterday.
The rescue operation was conducted by the Indian authorities with the support of Shakti Samuha, a Kathmandu based non-government organisation that works on issue of women trafficking.
Shakti Samuha had received information about Nepali girls being forced for commercial sex work at Silchar, headquarters of Cachar district in the northeast state of Assam in India, couple of months ago.
After conducting research from here, a group of Nepali right activists representing Shakti Samuha had visited Silchar, for the rescue, a few days ago. The group upon reaching the place it had consulted members of the Children Welfare Committee there and with Indian police. With collective effort, the seven Nepali trafficking victims were rescued from a brothel located at lane-14 in Silchar. Lane 14 of Silchar houses many brothels, according to Shakti Samuha officials.
Chari Maya Tamang, acting executive director of Shakti Samuha said they suspected hundreds of other Nepali women, including minors were forced into prostitution there. “We are still trying to rescue others, but many adult women have refused to be rescued,” said Tamang. She added that only minors could be rescued without the victims’ consent. “Many of the adults in the business are pressured by the brothel operators to continue to work as sex workers, and we could do nothing.”
Tamang said all rescued Nepali women and girls were kept ata shelter home in Assam. Although it is likely that four minor girls will be brought back to Nepal soon, the fate of other three girls will depend upon the court’s order there. “The rescued women above 18 might stay there if they do not wish to return,” Tamang said. A separate Nepali minor was rescued from the same area of Silchar in the second week of July. The girl after being rescued had informed Shakti Samuha that there were other girls like her working at brothels.
Indian police in Assam have already arrested brothel operator Laxmi Tamang for forcing the minor girls into sex work.
A version of this article appears in print on November 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.