Friday, 6 February 2009

Human Trafficking in Kerala

The Pioneer
KOCHI | Friday, February 6, 2009

Human trafficking attempt foiled
PNS | Kozhikode

About 40 persons, including women and children were rescued at Kozhikode on Thursday from an air-tight parcel container used to traffic them to Kerala State Electricity Board’s work sites in northern Kerala. All those in the container were at the point of exhaustion when the local people rescued them at Eranhippalam, Kozhikode on Thursday afternoon. The workers, women and children were being brought from Chithrkooda in Karnataka for trench work for the KSEB in Kerala.

The people had forced open the container after they grew suspicious hearing sobs and cries from inside the parcel box. “We had first thought it was a kidnap attempt. But when we opened the container, it was filled with hungry-looking poor people on the verge of exhaustion,” Basheer, a local resident said. The driver of the truck escaped and the truck was confiscated by the Nadakkavu Police.

Most of those in the container were women and there were ten children, one of them being just two months old. They said they used to be taken to various sites like this only. They were workers hired by Sabari Constructions, a sub-contracting firm for the Electricity Board for trench and mud works.

The victims said they were ‘loaded’ into the container at 10.00 pm Wednesday, and had not been allowed to open the box after that. Asked whether they had not complained against such inhuman way of transportation, they said they did not have much choice. The tools they used for earth work also were stored in the container.

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