GUWAHATI, May 12 � Uncertainty continues regarding the Assam Police plan to have a corpus fund to facilitate quick rescue act of trafficked victims from outside the State, with the Ministry of Home Affairs yet to sanction any amount in this regard.
The MHA, during a meeting in New Delhi in January this year, had pledged that funds would be released immediately to facilitate swift response to rescue those trafficked to different parts of the country from Assam, but so far nothing has materialized.
Assam is one of the major source States in India as far as human trafficking is concerned and every year, hundreds of victims are reportedly trafficked outside the State, mostly to north India where they are sexually and physically exploited.
The Assam Police has been facing a fund crunch to afford transport and other incidental expenses incurred during rescue operations and had moved the Centre for special funds.
During the meeting with top MHA officials in New Delhi, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID/Anti-Trafficking Unit) was also asked to submit a list of rescue operations done in the last few years with the names of those rescued to study the trend and draft a roadmap.
The Anti-Trafficking Unit of the Assam Police had asked for an allocation of Rs 5 lakh for each district of the State from the planned budget every year.
Till date, the Assam Police has no information about any such funds released by the Centre.
The CID has rescued 422 victims of trafficking between July, 2011 and April, 2014 and arrested 281 offenders during the same period.
�The corpus fund is needed to meet the expenses incurred during preliminary stages of investigations, such as search operations, rescue, repatriation and medical examination due to non-allocation of any specified funds. Unfortunately, we have not yet been intimated about any such release of funds,� sources told this reporter.
A total of 7,788 children, including 5,023 girls, went missing in Assam between 2009 and May, 2014, of whom only 3,569 have been traced so far.
Till date, only the Social Welfare Department has been allocated funds for carrying out rescue operations and that too only for minor victims.
�There are times when due to unavailability of funds, the rescue and repatriation process is kept on hold, adding to the woes of the trafficked,� a child rights activist added.