Maha to treat human trafficking as economic offence: DGP

Mumbai: Maharashtra police, in an attempt to break the economic nexus in human trafficking cases, have now classified these crimes as economic offences, Satish Mathur, Director General of state police, said today.

A Deputy Superintendent-level officer will investigate these offences here onwards, Mathur said during a panel discussion on `Preventing and Combating Human Trafficking Crimes’ at the International Conference on Women Trafficking organised by Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW) here.

Speaking on measures by state police to tackle human trafficking, Mathur said this activity should be brought under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), as it is an organised crime.

Externing criminals involved in such crimes can also be a response from the police, he said.

“We have the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act, wherein we detain anti-social elements.

We can bring these criminals under the ambit of this act,” he said.

Mumbai being the financial capital, it is ‘very easy’ to bring victims here and sell them, he said.

Besides police and other law enforcement agencies handling trafficking cases, there is also the need to sensitise prosecutors and judiciary, he said.

The state police chief said anti-human trafficking units will be strengthened in Maharashtra. “We will recruit more people and make it very clear that this is the job of a senior officer,” he added.

Roshni Sen, Principal Secretary, Women and Child Development, West Bengal requested the state government to restart the work of the task force for rescue and repatriation of trafficking victims, set up through a pact between Maharashtra and West Bengal.

Earlier in the conference, Maharashtra chief secretary Sumit Mullick said the state has taken a slew of measures to curb human trafficking. Timely investigation and regular monitoring are key to curb trafficking, he said.

In the inaugural session, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the international community should forge an alliance to curb human trafficking.

Chairperson of state women’s commission Vijaya Rahatkar said, “Human trafficking is an organised crime…It is high time people united against it.”

Samira Bawumia, a Ghanaian politician, said, “Socialisation, security, support, supervision and security are important to end this evil (of trafficking). People need to be made aware that it is not okay to give your child to someone else for protection.