GUWAHATI, Oct 23 - That the tall claims of intervention made in regard to dealing with human trafficking cases by policy makers from time to time were mere gimmicks is once again evident!
Information accessed by this correspondent reveals that while the Centre had made only a part-payment to the State police for rescue and repatriation of victims in the last two years, the State government is yet to create a fund for the law enforcers despite several public announcements made in recent times.
Records further show that of the existing 14 human trafficking units (HTUs) in the State, only five received assistance from the Centre in the year 2013-14 and that too of a meagre amount of Rs 1,75,000.
In the subsequent year too, only five HTUs were funded with a similar amount, which, according to the State police, is too meagre an amount for a State where trafficking rackets are thriving.
Official records say that from 2011 to June 2015, 429 cases of human trafficking were registered and 393 people arrested. Moreover, more than 600 people were trafficked during the same period and the number of victims rescued during the period stood at 420.
�We had pleaded for Rs 5 lakh for each district from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. But the fund which we have so far received is too small and insufficient. One fails to understand under what logic only five HTUs were covered when there are 14 units in operation. How are the other nine HTUs supposed to operate,� official sources told The Assam Tribune.
�Such an attitude is certainly unjustified and uncalled for, especially when we are talking about dealing with the menace of the well-oiled network of traffickers across the country, with Assam being one of the major source states,� sources rued.
�Adequate fund is needed to meet the expenses incurred during preliminary stages of investigation, including search operations, rescue, repatriation, medical examination and also the travel expenses of the police team, especially outside the State. There have been instances when operations outside the State were affected due to fund crunch,� sources added.
A senior Assam Police official stated that on many occasions police teams are left in the lurch and have to depend on either NGOs or the social welfare department to carry out rescue operations.
He, however, maintained that the social welfare department only covers rescue operations for minor victims and the expenses incurred by rescue teams, especially in case of adults, are never met or �managed�.