One year has passed since Sarita Sunar of Surkhet in Karnali Province left for India. Her status is, however, still unknown.

Sunita Sharma of Kohalpur, Banke, went to India two years ago. Sharma's whereabouts are unknown. Sarita and Sunita are just representative cases of women missing in India.

A complaint has been filed with police saying that more than 300 women have gone missing in India from Karnali and Lumbini provinces. Nepal-India border was closed to contain the COVID spread. But, the Nepali women continued to go to India. Due to the pandemic, very few women left for India last fiscal. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, an application was filed with police asking it to search for more than 700 missing women that entered India via Nepalgunj border point.

Of the missing, 67 women were rescued from India. The whereabouts of missing women are not known. According to the NGO Maiti Nepal, Nepalgunj Office, the office received a complaint of more than 300 women missing in India in the last fiscal.

Of them, some women were rescued from India's red-light area.

Maiti Nepal has received an application asking it to search for 150 women missing in India from Karnali. Some of the women were rescued.

The missing women in India are from Bardiya, Salyan, Rolpa, Dailekh and Jajarkot. "We do not have a legal system to rescue missing women. So, it is hard to search for all missing women", said Keshav Koirala of Maiti Nepal, Nepalgunj Office.

Some women leave for India through contacts on Facebook and go missing there. Some women head to India with the objective of going to the middle east via India.

Despite escalation of human trafficking incidents, police have failed to nab traffickers. "Traffickers never take women with them. They send women to India's Rupaidiya," said Koirala.

Police have increased their vigilance at Nepalgunj border point but trafficking incidents have not stopped.

Police say that family dispute, financial difficulty and temptation have caused children and women to go missing in India.

Security officials from Nepal and India talk about controlling crimes including human trafficking at the Indo-Nepal meetings, but the problem is getting worse every year.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 29 2021, of The Himalayan Times.