West Bengal has been facing the worst law and order situation in India, under the rule of Mamata Banerjee. Incidents of crimes, which have been peaking at an alarming rate coupled with the strong arm politics of the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, has created a fearful situation for the people of the state.
In a report, by the Public Policy Research Center (PPRC), the deteriorating situation in West Bengal is further highlighted. Citing the statics provided by National Crime Records Bureau, the report pointed out that the state has the worst crime record in the country, including against women.
“The number of incidents almost doubled by 2017 when 58 incidents of violence were recorded, in which nine people lost their lives and 230 were injured. West Bengal stands fifth highest in the country, when it comes to crimes against children,” the report stated, while referring to data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
West Bengal has also been seeing a sharp rise in cases of human trafficking; most of the cases involve minor boys, girls and also transgender. West Bengal topped the list of the states that saw maximum human trafficking in 2016, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
According to the data by NCRB, in 2016 a total of 3,597 cases were registered in the state with a majority of the victims being females (595 males and 3569 females). However, even after thousands of cases, the chargesheet was only filed in 1,186 with a conviction rate of just 9.8%. However, a total; of 2793 victims were rescued. West Bengal recorded a total of 44% of total cases of human trafficking in the country.
However according to Vivek Chowdhury, judicial secretary, Government of West Bengal, the numbers could be higher, he said, “Trafficking victims are still not coming forward to report the crime, they are still hesitant and stigmatized.”
Indra Chakraborty, the special superintendent of police dealing with trafficking added, “The dynamics of trafficking are changing and the dynamics of tackling it need to keep pace.”
West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) in the 2015 in Kolkata, Howrah, North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts also points towards dire situation of human subjects that are trafficked on pretext of a better life however ultimately are pushed into sex trade.
According to the study, 4143 sex-workers were documented from 451 public and 131 from 40 private establishments. The prevalence of minors in public establishments is 0.8% while in private ones it was a whopping 18 %. The minors observed in private establishments were 15 to 17 years old, all from West Bengal.
“Another unique observation was that 80% of contacts (pimps, madams, traffickers) in private establishments were females. This is different from the stereotypical notion of male-dominated exploiters and pimps. The ages of these contacts ranged from 16 to 58 years,” the report said.
The minors are subjected to rape, beatings, genital mutilation and threats of murder. Several cases of sex workers witnessing the murder of fellow workers have also surfaced.