Hyderabad: Even as the police is cracking down on human trafficking of women in the Old City and conducting raids at several places, politicians have appeared at the Falaknuma police complex, the epicentre of police action, and some have rang up police officials to ask them to go ‘carefully’ with the investigation.
At least two GHMC corporators rushed to the Falaknuma police complex to secure the release of the Qatari nationals who have been arrested. One corporator went so far as to say he would not leave until the arrested person was released. “We had to request him to allow us to do our work,” said a police officer.
Another corporator came to the police station in the middle of the night to get the release of a qazi wanted in connection with a marriage case registered with the Chandrayangutta police. When the police asked if he knew on what charges the qazi was picked up, he feigned ignorance.
In last two days, the Falaknuma police complex has been frequented by small leaders of various political parties. “Huge money is involved. The brokers, who lured the foreigners, were ready to shell out lakhs of rupees. Right from leading advocates to leaders, they sought help from almost all the people,” said a police officer.
The politicians said that the Old City would get a bad name if such issues were highlighted. Some even said that the image of the government would be affected. Social activist say cases relating to trafficking in women and drugs should be assigned to special agencies like the crime investigation department.
“The local police have to maintain a good rapport with local politicians as they require their help to maintain peace during political meets and religious processions. Such high profile cases should be handled by specialised agencies where the officers are seldom in contact with local politicians,” said S.Q. Masood.
He says the next job for the police is to track down the brokers who are absconding and break the network. "Only if there is no political interference can the menace be full curbed. How can any government or geographical area get a bad name if vices are curbed?" asks Lubna Sarwath, an activist.
Hyderabad police to up vigil
The city police has begun to crack down on repeated cases of ‘contract’ marriages in the city, where women are sold to foreign nationals, usually from the Middle East. The women are usually very young and often they are just used by the so-called husbands for a few months and then abandoned. Sometimes they are taken back to the husband’s country where they are exploited by others.
A new team will keep tabs on the activities of ‘brokers’ known to be facilitating these marriages. In the last few months, there has been a drastic increase in such cases of trafficking in the Old City. Hyderabad commissioner M. Mahender Reddy said that an informer’s network will be put in place.
The police have identified 38 brokers, including 24 women, and will be monitoring their activities. They will ‘geo-tag’ the locations where these suspects stay. Following, raids on lodges, some people have converted their homes into guesthouses and renting them to brokers to accommodate foreigners from the Middle East. The police have identified 20 such guest houses.