New Delhi : The National Commission for Women on Friday said there is “enough evidence” to suggest that young girls are being forced into prostitution in numerous districts of Rajasthan, with highways being the most common locations, and asked the Centre to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe possible child prostitution and trafficking racket.
The NCW, which had formed a two-member team following a report that in the Rajasthan area of Bhilwara, conflicts over loan repayments were purportedly resolved by auctioning off young women on stamp papers, said they have also found evidence of child marriages.
NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma, who had earlier written to the state Chief Secretary and Director General of Police on the matter, also visited Sawai Madhopur to inquire into the situation.
Following interactions with different families residing in the region, police and local administration, the two-member team said that “there is enough evidence to conclude that young girls are being forced into prostitution in numerous districts of Rajasthan, including Sawai Madhopur, Bhilwara, and Bharatpur, with highway sides being the most common locations.”
The team also discovered that the family registrations in the Bhilwara district village of Kanjar Basti, Pander, which were supposed to be updated, were deficient in key details about how many families are residing there.
NCW said that the communities provided further evidence that child marriages are still common in the state, as the local media had reported such instances. “The district administration and police are totally in denial and have failed to address the issue,” a statement issued by the NCW said.
“Due to threats from the Panchayat and local government, the people are under pressure to conceal the true extent of child prostitution and trafficking,” it added and recommended that the central government must constitute an SIT to carry out the probe.
During interaction with families, it was observed that every family had six to nine minor girls living under one roof. These girls could not explain their relationship with others in the family.
“To establish the relationship, DNA tests on young girls and their respective families must be performed. It is crucial to rescue and provide proper rehabilitation to minor girls who have been coerced into forced prostitution,” it further said.
The women’s panel also said that Rajasthan seems to be both a source and a destination for the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation, prostitution, etc.
Suggesting that the state government should keep a track record of every girl child who is born, it said that enforcement agencies must be proactive in dealing with such issues.
“Economic livelihood activities and awareness programs pertaining to the mental and physical health of girls must be focused to improve the condition,” it added.