Guwahati, March 27: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal today directed the home department to set up a women police battalion to check the rising cases of crime against women and children in the state.
Sonowal gave the directive while reviewing the human trafficking scenario in the state at Janata Bhawan.
Data tabled in the Lok Sabha recently shows that Assam’s performance in tracking its trafficked children and women was dismal in 2016, compared to 2015.
The data shows that 130 children were trafficked from Assam in 2016, of whom only 37 were rescued. The fate of 93 remains unknown. Comparatively, of the 129 children trafficked in 2015, 101 were rescued, a success rate of 78 per cent compared to 28 per cent in 2016.
The trend in terms of rescue of women is similar. The data says 163 women were trafficked from the state in 2016, of whom only 63 were rescued, a success rate of 38 per cent, whereas in 2015, 187 women were trafficked from the state of whom 137 were rescued, a success rate of 73 per cent.
The chief minister also directed his officials to constitute a high-level committee, designating the home department as the nodal agency to collect all relevant information on trafficking and to carry out anti-trafficking drives. Sonowal asked the labour and social welfare department officials to intensify surveillance on trafficking.
He stressed the need to develop an anti-trafficking mechanism from the grassroots level and asked the departments concerned to instruct the village headmen to prepare an extensive database on human resources.
The chief minister asked the officials to ensure adequate monitoring of youths going outside Assam in search of jobs to the deputy commissioner level so that all information regarding a person could be tracked.
He asked the labour department officials to prepare a draft act for giving exemplary punishment to those involved in trafficking.
Expressing grave concern over rise in trafficking, Sonowal advocated a strong and effective law enforcement mechanism to control trafficking. He said there is a need to amend certain portions of the existing act to make it stringent.
Underscoring the need for spreading more awareness at the grassroots level on trafficking, the chief minister said awareness drives should be organised involving village headmen, panchayat officials, public representatives and village defence forces.