Punjab Police's Bureau of Investigation has formed a Special Investigation Team to investigate all human trafficking cases in the state, officials said on Saturday. The SIT will be headed by an officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS), according to an order by bureau director, L K Yadav, issued on Friday.
"It has been reported that a number of women were trafficked from India to other countries in the Middle East, primarily on the pretext of providing decent employment and salary but these women were/are held captive and left to struggle for survival and starvation," according to the order.
"A case FIR dated May 2, 2023, has been registered for the commission of offences under section 420 IPC and section 13 of the Punjab Travel Professionals (Regulation) Act, 2014 at police station Ghali Khurd, Ferozepur in one such instance," it added. In view of the sensitivity and gravity of the matter, it is hereby ordered that any such complaint received by any other field unit shall immediately be registered as an FIR, without any loss of time, the order said.
Inspector General of Police, Ludhiana Range, Kaustabh Sharma, shall act as the nodal officer for hassle-free registration of FIRs in human trafficking cases in the state, as per the order.
"A Special Investigation Team headed by Randhir, IPS shall investigate all these cases. He may co-opt any officer as a member of the SIT and/or associate any officer from the local police where FIR is registered for the purpose of investigation of that case/s, under intimation to this office," it further stated.
Meanwhile, AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Vikramjit Singh Sahney, who has been spearheading efforts to help victims of human trafficking, on Saturday thanked the state government and Punjab Police DGP for forming the SIT.
"Thanks to @CMOPb & @DGPPunjabPolice for forming #SIT so promptly to investigate and book guilty to book various agents and touts indulging in #HumanTrafficking and sending innocent boys and girls abroad on false promises," Sahney said in a tweet.
"Thanks to @DGP Punjab Police Shri #GauravYadav for agreeing to make SIT for taking punitive action against unscrupulous agents indulging in #HumanTrafficking of innocent girls from Punjab," Sahney had said in a tweet before the SIT was formed.