Telangana Home Minister N. Narasimha Reddy on Wednesday said that the state government would deal firmly with human trafficking.
Flagging off a rally against human trafficking, which was being organised by the Hyderabad Police and an NGO, Prajwala, he said that if the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 was passed in Parliament, the traffickers will get stringent punishment.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar also said that human trafficking will not be tolerated and everybody should fight against this menace.
The Home Minister's statement came a day after the Telangana Police busted a sex racket with the shocking revelation that traffickers were pushing children into prostitution after using hormonal injections to make them attain puberty early.
Police in the temple town of Yadgirigutta rescued 11 girls aged between 3 and 12 years from brothels and arrested eight persons, who had sold these children belonging to poor families.
According to the police, the traffickers picked up some children from railway stations, kidnapped some from roads and purchased some from their parents by paying Rs 1-2 lakh.
Reddy noted that the victims were being used for sex work, child labour, begging and other crimes. They were being employed in bangle industry and brick kilns.
He said in cases of human trafficking, action will be taken under the Preventive Detention Act to ensure that such incidents do not recur. Under operation 'Muskan' the child labourers were being rescued and rehabilitated.
The Bill, which came up for discussion in the Lok Sabha, was passed amid skepticism from stakeholders like sex workers and transgender rights activists.
There were also many flaws that were pointed out earlier, for example, the traffickers can travel between states easily, taking the children with them. However, the police cannot follow the culprit outside their jurisdiction without permission.