ILAM, July 20: The Indian gateway to eastern Nepal, Pashupatinagar has become the main 'transit' for human trafficking in recent days .Despite being aware that human trafficking through Pashupatinagar is much higher than through other customs points along the eastern border, the authorities concerned have turned a blind eye to this. By taking advantage of the open border, human traffickers sell people to India and many other countries by citing various reasons such as foreign employment, health, meeting relatives among others. According to Maiti Nepal, this customs point is used for trafficking girls and boys from as many as 52 districts including Ilam.
It's not that the authorities concerned are not aware of this but still they are not making efforts to control it. Though some of the government and non-government organizations have been successful in rescuing the victims, they have failed to nab the culprits. The fear of being victimized again prevents the victims from fighting for justice.
Hom Dhakal, coordinator of Maiti Nepal informed Republica that Pashupatinagar is the most commonly used gateway for trafficking. In the fiscal year 2017/18, some 195 people were stopped from going to India through Pashupatinagar. Likewise, 18 persons were rescued. Furthermore, 164 and 120 people were stopped from going to India from Kakarvitta and Jogbani border points,respectively, according to Dhakal.
While males are trafficked for kidneys, women are kept at hotels and brothels as sex workers. The victims are saved and sent back to their homes with the co-operation of police and various other organizations. The open border has been a great boon for the traffickers. There are a large number of roads and streets in the border area but the presence of security personnel is very low.
Milan Chhetri, one of the leaders of Pashupatinagar, said that there are 205 different ways between the border pillars. "No one knows how many people enter India from these ways. In the east, there is the presence of security only at three places," said Chhetri, adding," It's not possible for those three units to monitor everywhere."
Chief District Officer (CDO) Shrawan Kumar Timsina stated that the details of human trafficking through Pashupatinagar have made him worried. "This has questioned the effectiveness of our security system. But we will try our best to nab the culprits and find out measures to curb this," said CDO Timsina. Many stakeholders have shown concern of late, as the graph of human trafficking has been climbing higher with each passing day.