PUCLblog

Child marriages rampant in Visakhapatnam

Child marriages rampant in Visakhapatnam

VISAKHAPATNAM: At an age when she should have been going to school, she found that her parents had fixed her marriage with a much elder person. But 15-year-old Nagalakshmi from Kasimkota wanted to study. When all efforts to convince her parents failed, she sought help from a relative, who rang up the child helpline number hours before the marriage.

The district child protection officer (DCPO) accompanied by the police and mandal revenue officer reached the spot and stalled the illegal marriage from being solemnized. Today, the girl is studying in a women’s college and has been put up in a hostel. Her parents were counseled about the ills of child marriage.

While Nagalakshmi is one of the lucky ones whose underage marriage was successfully prevented by prompt action from district officials others are not so lucky. Despite awareness campaigns by government, underage marriage of girls is rampant in the district and even within the city limits.

In fact, between January to August 2014, 29 child marriages were stalled in Visakhapatnam district by the Women and Child Welfare (WCW) department even as many others went unreported. In just three weeks in August, four underage marriages were stopped in the city limits.

Admitting to the prevalent social evil, DCPO A Satyanarayana, said, “It’s not just in the rural and Agency areas that such marriages are taking place. There are such cases in the city too. On an average, every week, we are alerted about at least one such marriage. In three weeks of August, we stopped four child marriages at Gajuwaka, Madhurawada, Tagarapuvalasa and Padmanavam area. Almost all the 29 rescued children are girls aged between 15 and 17 years. Most of them belong to backward and ST communities and 60% of them are from very poor families.”

According to officials of the WCW department, marriages are fixed by the parents usually with a close relative or neighbour with the purpose of keeping the property within the family. Giving and taking of dowry is also prevalent.

“The rescued children are placed before the child welfare committee and arrangements are made for their education. We face a lot of objections and threats from the girls’ families asking us not to interfere and claiming that the child is above 18 years of age. Some families are also backed by local political hooligans. So, we usually visit the places accompanied by the police and try to get hold of the age certificate from schools,” said the DPCO.

According to AE Roberts, project director, WCW department, Visakhapatnam, the department is making all-round efforts to generate awareness on the issue among the public and are usually alerted by NGOs, anganwadi workers and at times by unidentified callers on the child helpline.

“Anganwadi workers are our resource persons in villages and we act immediately whenever they alert us. Every month, we have nutrition and health education day in villages where efforts are underway to educate mothers and women about this burning social issue. Underage marriage is co-related with various evils including human trafficking, malnutrition, poor physical and psychological health of women, infant and maternal mortality and so on and therefore, it needs to be stopped at any cost,” said Roberts.

 

 

http://puclmangalore.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/girl-gang-raped-brought-to-mumbai-for-trafficking/

PUCLblog

Girl gang-raped, brought to Mumbai for trafficking

Girl gang-raped, brought to Mumbai for trafficking

Girl gang-raped, brought to Mumbai for trafficking
The 16-year-old is a school dropout and resides with her family at Kalwar in UP. She told the cops that she was at home on August 17 when a group of five to seven youths kidnapped her from the porch. 

 

MUMBAI: A teenaged girl, found roaming alone at Goregaon station on Sunday, narrated a horrifying story to the cops of being gangraped in Uttar Pradesh and brought to Mumbai for trafficking. An FIR has been registered by the Borivli GRP and her family in UP has been informed.

The 16-year-old is a school dropout and resides with her family at Kalwar in UP. She told the cops that she was at home on August 17 when a group of five to seven youths kidnapped her from the porch. After driving for several hours, they took her to Lucknow and confined in a room where she was gangraped between August 17 and 19. From Lucknow, the group brought her to Mumbai. “She cannot recollect at which station they alighted in Mumbai. For a few days, the men roamed around, taking her along. She said they planned to push her into flesh trade. On Saturday, she managed to give them the slip,” said a GRP official. She boarded random local trains as she did not know how to travel back to UP. She somehow reached Goregaon station where the cops found her on Sunday. “We offered her some food as she was starving and sent her for a medical examination. Reports have confirmed rape. Her cousin is on his way to Mumbai,” said DCP Deepak Devraj, GRP (WR). An FIR has been registered.

 
 
PUCLblog

Punjab: Dalits block National Highway over rape, police use mild force to clear it

Punjab: Dalits block National Highway over rape, police use mild force to clear it

 

Phagwara: Agitated over delay in arrest of four persons accused of raping a 22-year-old dalit woman at a factory, members of a dalit organisation on Saturday tried to block the National Highway 1, forcing police to use mild force against them.

Activists of Sri Guru Ravi Das Sena Punjab gathered at the local main Sabzi mandi on Phagwara-Hoshiarpur road to protest against the delay in arrest of four persons, including a factory owner, who had allegedly beaten, drugged and gang raped the girl working in the factory worker on July 29, police said.

Phagwara SP Gursevak Singh Brar tried hard to persuade them not to proceed to National Highway 1, but when some of the protesters broke the police cordon and rushed to towards NH 1, police had to use mild force to foil their bid to stage blockade, they said.

Punjab: Dalits block National Highway over rape, police use mild force to clear it

Activists had gathered to protest against the delay in arrest of four persons who had allegedly beaten, drugged and gang raped a girl on July 29.

Around a dozen protesters were apprehended and bundled into bus, Brar said, adding those rounded up were later released. He said, since the protesters become violent and started pelting stones at the vehicles on the NH, police had to use mild force. However, Sena President Dilbar Singh denied protesters pelting stones at the vehicles and accused police of high-handeness.

Factory owner Mandip Singh and three others, two of them identified as Kuldip and Baba, were booked for rape, criminal intimidation and causing hurt after the victim recorded her statement on August 2. Name of one of fourth accused was not known.

A woman colleague of the victim, working in the same factory, was also booked for hatching conspiracy. Meanwhile, Brar said raids were being conducted to arrest the accused, who are absconding.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/punjab-dalits-block-national-highway-over-rape-police-use-mild-force-to-clear-it/492477-3-241.html

 

PUCLblog

Four out of 10 men addicted to drugs in Punjab

Four out of 10 men addicted to drugs in Punjab

 

A steady supply from across Punjab’s borders is making it next to impossible to cure the state of its deadly addiction to illicit drugs, a Narcotics Control Bureau survey of eight cities including Amritsar and Patiala has shown.

But recent police seizures have pushed prices of drugs, originating in Afghanistan and routed through Pakistan, to sky-high levels and driven addicts who cannot afford their daily fix to de-addiction centres.

This is the latest twist in a sorry saga that has ruined the lives of many in the prosperous state. Another central study of the Punjab drug problem shows that four out of ten men in the state are addicted and up to half this number are youth and farmers.

 

The analysis shows that heroin is still largely a transit drug accounting for less than 7% of consumers.  15% of the addicts crave for “bhukki” (poppy husk) and 20% need other synthetic drugs, most of which come from pharmaceutical units in Himachal Pradesh, on the state’s eastern border.

Read: Addicts overcrowd Punjab drug rehab centres

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/8/1408-mtr-15a.jpg

Anti-narcotic agencies say the primary reasons for high levels of addiction in Punjab are traditional use of opium by farmers, the rising prices of alcohol, easy availability of narcotics from Himachal and a thriving smuggler-police-politician nexus which is hampering enforcement action.

But Punjab director general of police Sumedh Saini differs from the central assessment. He told HT that since May this year, the authorities had seized 149 kilogrammes of heroin. To date, his men have seized 1,462 kgs of raw material for making synthetic drugs like ICE, registered 9,935 cases under NDPS Act and made 11,490 arrests.

“We have smashed the cross-border drug transit lines by targeting international drug traffickers. The result is that today intoxicants are not available to the consumers, which has led to some 2,08,171 consumers being treated at the de-addiction centres up to July-end,” he said.

Heroin production in Afghanistan is expected to touch record levels of 550-600 tonne, of which around 10 tonne to pass through Indian cities.

According to Indian estimates, pure heroin costs Rs. 1-2 lakh per kg in Pakistan. The cost doubles to Rs. 3 lakh a kg after it crosses the border to pay for the risks involved. From Punjab to Delhi, the cost reachesRs. 8-10 lakh a kg and further doubles to Rs. 16-20 lakh a kg in Mumbai.

The involvement of cross-border smugglers was evident from seizure of 27 kgs of heroin by Punjab police in the last week of June. The heroin has originated from Lahore-based smugglers identified as Kalu Chairman and Nasir, pushed into Indian territory across the Line of Control in Kashmir and was intercepted while on its way to Jaisalmer. The international cartel is also active on the synthetic drug front with key smugglers based in Chennai and agents active in Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana. Investigations have shown the cartel procuring drugs from HP and sent to Malaysia and other countries through Chennai.

According to NCB experts, a national anti- narcotic task force should be formed to tackle drugs for Punjab with a comprehensive statistical survey of addiction in the state.

“Strong enforcement action is needed against pharmaceutical units in HP with reduction in liquor costs and liberalised bhang and bhukki licenses so that Punjab youth do not move to hard drugs like heroin, cocaine, ephedrine, methamphetamine, ICE and LSD,” said a senior official.

 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/chandigarh/four-out-of-10-men-addicted-to-drugs-in-punjab/article1-1251901.aspx

PUCLblog

Four out of 10 men addicted to drugs in Punjab

Four out of 10 men addicted to drugs in Punjab

 

A steady supply from across Punjab’s borders is making it next to impossible to cure the state of its deadly addiction to illicit drugs, a Narcotics Control Bureau survey of eight cities including Amritsar and Patiala has shown.

But recent police seizures have pushed prices of drugs, originating in Afghanistan and routed through Pakistan, to sky-high levels and driven addicts who cannot afford their daily fix to de-addiction centres.

This is the latest twist in a sorry saga that has ruined the lives of many in the prosperous state. Another central study of the Punjab drug problem shows that four out of ten men in the state are addicted and up to half this number are youth and farmers.

 

The analysis shows that heroin is still largely a transit drug accounting for less than 7% of consumers.  15% of the addicts crave for “bhukki” (poppy husk) and 20% need other synthetic drugs, most of which come from pharmaceutical units in Himachal Pradesh, on the state’s eastern border.

Read: Addicts overcrowd Punjab drug rehab centres

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/8/1408-mtr-15a.jpg

Anti-narcotic agencies say the primary reasons for high levels of addiction in Punjab are traditional use of opium by farmers, the rising prices of alcohol, easy availability of narcotics from Himachal and a thriving smuggler-police-politician nexus which is hampering enforcement action.

But Punjab director general of police Sumedh Saini differs from the central assessment. He told HT that since May this year, the authorities had seized 149 kilogrammes of heroin. To date, his men have seized 1,462 kgs of raw material for making synthetic drugs like ICE, registered 9,935 cases under NDPS Act and made 11,490 arrests.

“We have smashed the cross-border drug transit lines by targeting international drug traffickers. The result is that today intoxicants are not available to the consumers, which has led to some 2,08,171 consumers being treated at the de-addiction centres up to July-end,” he said.

Heroin production in Afghanistan is expected to touch record levels of 550-600 tonne, of which around 10 tonne to pass through Indian cities.

According to Indian estimates, pure heroin costs Rs. 1-2 lakh per kg in Pakistan. The cost doubles to Rs. 3 lakh a kg after it crosses the border to pay for the risks involved. From Punjab to Delhi, the cost reachesRs. 8-10 lakh a kg and further doubles to Rs. 16-20 lakh a kg in Mumbai.

The involvement of cross-border smugglers was evident from seizure of 27 kgs of heroin by Punjab police in the last week of June. The heroin has originated from Lahore-based smugglers identified as Kalu Chairman and Nasir, pushed into Indian territory across the Line of Control in Kashmir and was intercepted while on its way to Jaisalmer. The international cartel is also active on the synthetic drug front with key smugglers based in Chennai and agents active in Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana. Investigations have shown the cartel procuring drugs from HP and sent to Malaysia and other countries through Chennai.

According to NCB experts, a national anti- narcotic task force should be formed to tackle drugs for Punjab with a comprehensive statistical survey of addiction in the state.

“Strong enforcement action is needed against pharmaceutical units in HP with reduction in liquor costs and liberalised bhang and bhukki licenses so that Punjab youth do not move to hard drugs like heroin, cocaine, ephedrine, methamphetamine, ICE and LSD,” said a senior official.

 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/chandigarh/four-out-of-10-men-addicted-to-drugs-in-punjab/article1-1251901.aspx