KALAIGAON, June 15 - The nexus between human trafficking and insurgency has emerged as a new social threat in the BTAD districts of Udalguri, Baksa, Chirang and Kokrajhar, with the recent escape of three Assamese school dropouts from such a transit camp located in Bangladesh and their subsequent arrest along the India-Bangla border in Tripura sending alarm bells ringing in both the civil administration as well as the Army.
Taking advantage of their poverty, a number of school dropout boys and girls have been lured by human traffickers with the promise of offering them jobs, not only in big Indian cities but also in countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. An uncountable number of youths go missing every year from various parts of Assam as well as the rest of the Northeast. The youths who go missing usually include school dropouts, unemployed youths and others from the poorer sections of society, who are lured by unscrupulous agents on the pretext of offering them jobs and money in big Indian cities and abroad. The agents then exploit and abuse the innocent youths and make them fall victim to organ trade, prostitution and forced recruitment in insurgent groups.
Manas Jyoti Deka (22) of Purandia village under Tangla police station, Pado Deka (24) of Hatibandha village under Tangla police station and Gautam Roy (23) of the village Kaliyagaon in Chirang district had been apprehended by Tripura police on May 23 last on the India-Bangla border near Dholai in Tripura. Suspecting them of being members of KLO, Assam, they were handed over to BSF and finally to the Assam Police on May 25.
The boys, on the other hand, had a sad story to tell. When a group of media persons of the Udalguri District Journalists� Union met them on June 14 on their way back from the Sessions Court campus to the Udalguri jail, what the boys narrated raised everyone�s eyebrows.
According to them, two persons, namely Thakur and Tomba, had come to meet them in separate locations of Udalguri and Chirang districts in January 2016, promising them jobs and money in Bangladesh. They told their parents that they were going outside Assam, without specifically mentioning Bangladesh. The agents later handed them over to another agent after crossing the Bangladesh border near Dhubri. After three days of continuous walking, they finally landed in an undisclosed location inside a thick jungle in the Bangladesh territory. Then began their saga of untold miseries and it was too late before the boys realised that they had been handed over to an insurgent camp.
It has been 17 months since they had left home without keeping any contact with their families. The trio was in the camp for more than a year doing manual works like cooking and cleaning. They revealed that there were six other boys from Assam who were still trapped in the clutch of insurgents.
Manas said, �Life was getting miserable for us day by day. I was terribly missing my parents and wanted to escape from their clutches, by hook or by crook.�
There will certainly be similar cases of missing youths having no contact with their families, and no police complaints either to conduct a search.