BHUBANESWAR: Railway police on Sunday rescued 10 teenaged girls from Cuttack station while they were being trafficked to Andhra Pradesh. A 24 year-old woman, who was apparently leading them, is being questioned by the cops.
The girls were spotted by the Crime Investigation Team (CIT) of Khurda Road RPF when they were boarding the East Coast Express. They were seated in the General Coach of the train and bought railway tickets upto Samalkota in Andhra Pradesh.
They were brought to Bhubaneswar RPF police station and later handed over to a city-based NGO. One among the rescued girls is a minor and preliminary investigation indicates it to be a case of trafficking, an RPF official said.
All the girls, except the 24-year-old, were in the age group of 17 to 19. The official mentioned that there were less chances of these girls being engaged in prostitution.
They belonged different villages in Kamakhya Nagar of Dhenkanal district and had come by a bus to Cuttack today morning.
The victims said they were going to Andhra Pradesh for working in a fish farm.
"Earlier, we had worked in the fish farming and packaging trade in Tamil Nadu and because of abject poverty at home we opt to move out," a victim, who is an orphan told this paper.
She added that a women named Payal belonging to Kolkata is the agent who facilitates their travel to the Southern States. The CIT failed to get hold the woman, who sources said, had left for Kolkata after getting the girls on board in East Coast Express.
A two-member team of Ruchika Social Service Organisation who took custody of the rescued girls said, the exact reason of their travel and whether they were forced into any profession will be ascertained after counselling them.