B'lore NGO's false alarm puts Tiruppur officials in a tizzy

10 girls from Karnataka were rescued and then let off

An alert from a Bangalore-based NGO of suspected trafficking in young women from Karnataka left officials in the hosiery town of Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu in a tizzy, leading to detaining of 10 girls on Deepavali-eve.

The crackdown on Monday by the Tiruppur Women Police, who “rescued” the girls from a group of 30 travellers, later turned out to be a case of ‘misinformation’, Police and officials in the hosiery exporting centre told Deccan Herald over phone on Tuesday.

 Acting on a tip-off from the Bangalore NGO, who were said to be on the ‘trail’ of the group of women allegedly trafficked from Karnataka, the Tiruppur Police detained the group on arrival at the Tiruppur railway station by the Mumbai-Coimbatore Lokmanya Tilak Express, sources said.

However, on investigation, officials found that four girls of that group, all in the age-group of 16 to 25 years, were already working for some years in a spinning mill in Tiruppur with valid papers.

The four girls, who even had ration cards as proof of stay there, had gone home for a vacation and were returning to work, said a woman police official of the Tiruppur All-Women Police Station.

Some of the other girls, who were accompanying the group of four, were also found to be travelling to Tiruppur with their parents, apparently in search of jobs, the officials said.

No  minors

Moreover, the girls were all above 16 years, ruling out suspicions of being trafficked as ‘child labour or bonded labour’, a revenue department official in Tiruppur said.

As a matter of abundant caution, all the detained girls from Karnataka and some possibly from Andhra Pradesh, were entrusted to the care of the Tiruppur District Social Welfare officials, who sent them to a women’s home. “The officials will contact their counterpart in Karnataka after which they will be advised to return home,” the sources added.

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