Rescued women reluctant to return home

Kathmandu, July 26

Most of the 16 Nepali women who were rescued from New Delhi yesterday have expressed reluctance to return home, while the Embassy of Nepal is working to repatriate them by Monday.

The women, on their way to be trafficked to Kuwait and Dubai, were rescued from Delhi’s Munirka area by a joint team of Delhi police, Delhi Commission for Women and a non-government organisation named KI Nepal.

A team from the embassy led by Deputy Chief of Mission Bharat Kumar Regmi today met the women. Most of them said they had come willingly and that they ought to be allowed to go to their Gulf destinations.

They lamented that they were compelled to travel to foreign employment destinations due to unemployment in Nepal. The women even sought written commitment that they would be provided employment opportunities in Nepal, KI Nepal New Delhi Representative Navin Joshi, who was present in the meeting, told THT over the phone.

Hari Odari, political counsellor at the embassy, said since the women were rescued while being trafficked to various labour destinations, their responsibility was to repatriate the women to Nepal and hand them over to the police after completing necessary legal procedures in India. “We have conveyed the same to the women and are working accordingly,” he told THT.

Odari said since an FIR had been lodged with the police, the court was taking statements from the women, and the court had informed the embassy that the process would conclude by Saturday.

“As Sunday is a public holiday, we will most probably repatriate them by Monday,” he said. As far as the trafficker is concerned, he is yet to be arrested.

The embassy will forward a report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the basis of discussions held today with the women about the trafficker, and Nepal police will launch an investigation, according to Odari.

The Nepal government has imposed a ban on Nepali women from travelling to labour destinations via New Delhi, and the same has been conveyed to the Indian immigration. However, traffickers produce fake No Objection Certificates of the embassy to dodge the immigration. Two weeks ago, the same trafficker had sent seven Nepali women to Gulf destinations the same way, according to Joshi.

The rescued women, aged between 20 and 40 years, hail from Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot, Morang, Makawanpur, Kapilvastu and Arghakhachi.

Fourteen of them were planning to go to Kuwait and two to Dubai. Two of them had already been to Kuwait once and they were planning to go for the second time. The women — two of whom are married — reached New Delhi by bus via various routes on different dates. They were promised a monthly salary of INR 20,000.

According to Joshi, the women informed that they had copies of their passports till the Nepal-India border, where they destroyed them at the direction of the trafficker who took away their original passports. The broker had helped around 10 of them to acquire the passports.

The women had lied to security officials at the Nepal-India border that they were visiting India to meet their relatives.

The women, who were given WiFi internet facility in the room they were staying in New Delhi, had already informed their family members in Nepal via instant messaging services that they had safely reached their destinations in Kuwait and Dubai, as per Joshi.