Meghalaya: Police alerts people over rise in trafficking cases
SHILLONG: The Meghalaya Police department has issued an advisory in the wake of the rise in number of trafficking cases in the city.
As per this English daily in Shillong, the guidelines, issued through the office of the additional director general of police (CID), say that the family of a missing person should report to police immediately.
"Many a time people spend 2-3 days on searching. Police should be informed without loss of precious time," the directive said, adding that families should keep track of the movement of children and youngsters staying outside the state for education or employment. "If there is anything suspicious, it should be reported to police for verification/inquiry."
Police also advised families to encourage children, especially girls, studying outside the state to set up self-help groups. People should report immediately to the nearest police station when they notice an unaccompanied child on the street or in a public transport. A minor being taken forcefully by an adult should also be reported.
"People should report if any suspicious activities are noticed in a house/lodge/guest house in their neighbourhood," stated the advisory.
A sudden change in a neighbour's lifestyle that is incongruous to his or her income should also rouse suspicion.
Several cases of trafficking from Shillong were reported in the last few months. An 18-year-old girl was recently rescued from Delhi and her trafficker was arrested in Shillong.
The drivers of tourist taxis and buses should question, and if required, hand over a child travelling alone to the nearest police station. Any suspicious activity by an adult passenger accompanying a minor, especially a girl, should be reported to police. Drivers may also be encouraged to report at any police unit on the highways in case a passenger's behaviour is found suspicious.
The police also issued advisory to educational institutions saying students should be allowed to leave the premises alone after a certain age limit. "Schools/colleges should report any dropout or continuous absence of a student without any information from the parents and take up the matter with parents/guardians of students who are not coming to school regularly. College/schools should take up programmes to create awareness among teachers and students regarding kidnapping and trafficking of children. Any lifestyle or behavioural change of a student may be discussed with parents," it added.
Underlining the significance of NGOs, the police advised these organisations to take up awareness programmes and projects for parents, women and children. "NGOs may act as watch groups on the suspicious activities of various agencies and groups, including those advertising jobs outside Meghalaya, and identify them and share the information confidentially with police for necessary follow-up," the guidelines said.
As an important vehicle through which factual information can be obtained, exchanged and disseminated, media can play the effective role in sensitizing the public about the problems of trafficking specialized reporting and coordination with police and NGOs, the police directive said. "Random use of archive photographs and video images to illustrate a story may be avoided to protect the privacy of individuals, victims and families," it cautioned.
The media should be cautious while interviewing a victim or an affected family and sharing such information in public domain to avoid accentuating trauma of such victims/families. While reporting cases of crime against women/children, details of alleged perpetrators must not get published when the case is still in active investigation.
For any assistance, people can contact through mobile, email, etc., to the SSP CID (Coordinator) at 9863021516 or email at email@example.com.
In charges of the Anti-Human Trafficking Units at Shillong, Jowai and Tura can be contacted in their mobiles at 9856822988 in Shillong, 9863082268 in Jowai and 9436160171 in Tura. The District SPs and nearest police stations/units can be contacted to report such activities.
(Source: The Shillong Times)