ibnlive » India

Jun 18, 2007 at 11:31am IST

Impact: Andhra sex racket busted

Rajahmundry (Andhra Pradesh): The Andhra Pradesh police has busted a sex racket, involving the sale of young girls in Rajahmundry district and arrested 12 persons involved in it.

Following up an investigation done by CNN-IBN, which revealed the plight of young girls trapped in the sex racket, the police cracked down on the gang and rescued as many as seven girls.

"The CNN-IBN investigation was helpful in the police crackdown,” Rajahmundry Superintendent of Police (SP), D Srinivasulu, said on Sunday.

"With the help of the information given by the news channel and also our CID headquarters, we worked out the case and arrested 12 traffickers and rescued seven girls,” Srinivasulu said.

On Saturday, a CNN-IBN Special Investigation had revealed that young girls are being sold for as little as Rs 12,000 in the Rajahmundry district of Andhra Pradesh, who are turned into sex slaves.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy said he was happy the way media exposed the racket and that he will order an inquiry into it. "We will focus on the social, economic, law and order issues," he said.

CNN-IBN correspondents uncovered the racket by posing as potential buyers of young girls, who went on to meet brokers, promising them money and fixing deals for ‘delivery’ of girls.

"The media played a major role in exposing this racket. We are thankful to them. The police will investigate the case," DGP M A Basith had earlier told CNN-IBN.

While the police are still interrogating the arrested persons, these arrests only reveal a fraction of what could be a much bigger racket, especially in the southern states, where minor girls are much in demand.

Most of the minor girls involved in prostitution in Goa, for example, come from Andhra Pradesh.

While police teams have been dispatched to other states to look into the racket, the real problem lies in the fact that no continuous effort has been made to take legal action against the offenders.

Moreover, minor girls often go back to the profession even after they are rescued due to lack of a systematic rehabilitation process. Of late, several NGOs have come forward to help such girls lead a new life and provide them with education.

"We will try to provide employment and rehabilitation for these kind of people," Mohammed Shabbir, Andhra Information Minister, said.

A recent study by the National Human Rights Commission says Andhra Pradesh has become a hub for trafficking of minor girls. And in more than 80 per cent of cases, it is their parents who have themselves pushed these girls into flesh trade.

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