Trafficked teenage girl rescued from IndiaAccording to police, tantriks in India are demanding young girls—5.4 feet high and without scars or tattoos.
Police rescued a teenage girl from India on Thursday on the suspicion that she had been taken across the border for human sacrifice.
The girl, codenamed 280, had been staying at her maternal uncle’s after her parents got divorced and there was nobody else to take care of her.
Her relatives filed an application with the police on December 21 seeking help to search for her after she went missing from her maternal uncle’s home on December 3.
The Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau, Babarmahal, which has been investigating the case, said it has arrested six Nepalis; five women and one man involved in trafficking the 16-year-old to a Tantrik Baba in India, from Dhading.
“Our preliminary investigation has shown that all five women were divorced, and had connection with the Tantrik Baba. One Nepali woman we arrested has even a PAN number of India,” said Dan Bahadur Malla, the bureau spokesperson.
He said one woman had accompanied the teenage girl from Kathmandu to New Delhi, using the road via the Sunauli border on December 24.
Police sources said all those under investigation are now being kept at the Dhading Police Office. The girl (280) has been sheltered at a non-government organisation in Kathmandu.
“The girl was taken to three Tantraik babas for examinations, before she was scheduled to be handed over to the biggest Tantrik on Purnima, the full moon day that falls on Sunday," said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jeevan Kumar Shrestha, who is also the chief of the bureau.
“The girl, who studied up to the seventh grade, was lured to go to India with the promise of a huge sum of money after getting blessings from the biggest tantrik in India,” said Shrestha.
Police said the traffickers had examined three other girls before 280 was taken to Delhi. She was held captive on the first floor of a building at Baprola Vihar Galli No-2, New Delhi; from where the Indian police rescued the girl.
The tantriks who demanded Nepali girls had set specifics: a pre-adolescent 5.4 feet high, without any scar or tattoo on her body.
Human sacrifice is still practised in India. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has recorded a total of 103 ritualistic sacrifices in the country from 2014 to 2021.
Nepal Police officials said, based on their preliminary investigation, that the girl was a possible target for human sacrifice. “Because the girl’s body was examined twice, first before she was taken to India and then after reaching there," said one official.
The girl, who was flown to Nepal from New Delhi on Thursday via an Air India flight, was handed over to the Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau.
In 2019, police had rescued a girl suspected to have been taken for ‘sacrifice’ from the Jogbani border. Six traffickers had been arrested then.
Also on Thursday, the Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau rescued 12 other Nepali women from India, saving them from being trafficked to Ethiopia via Dubai on tourist visas.
The bureau, in coordination with the New Delhi-based Nepali Embassy, Indian Police, Help Trust Cross India (Dehradun-based non-government organisation) and Nepal’s Shanti Punasthapana Griha had worked together to rescue them on January 25.
Of the total rescued women, two are below 30, eight are between 30 and 40 years, while two more are above 41 years.
Over the past few years, the number of women trafficked to foreign countries has increased; those being trafficked are lured with the promise of lucrative earnings from decent jobs. The Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau’s data show that 294 women have been rescued in the past five years.
Last week alone, police arrested a man allegedly involved in the trafficking of four Nepali women to Kuwait from Kathmandu.
On December 2 last year, the anti-human trafficking bureau had nabbed two Chinese agents for trafficking three women to a call centre in Laos where they were made to work with fake identities on social media with the motive to dupe rich English-speaking people.