VIJAYAWADA: In a step towards protecting the rights of women, children and other vulnerable sections of the society, the State government issued orders for the establishment of 10 Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs), in addition to the existing three in the State on Tuesday.
In an order issued by the Principal Secretary to the government (Home department) Kumar Viswajeet, the government also declared all the AHTUs as police stations with a dedicated staff. The AHTUs will be housed in the Disha police stations in their respective districts.
The decision to establish the AHTUs was taken considering the proposal of Director General of Police (DGP) D Gautam Sawang following the Centre’s instructions for strengthening law enforcement with dedicated AHTUs in coordination with the Women and Child Welfare Department, Labour Department and other stakeholders.
The new 10 AHTUs will be coming up at Chittoor (including Tirupati urban unit), East Godavari (including Rajahmundry unit), Kadapa, Kurnool, Krishna (including Vijayawada city), Nellore, Prakasam, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam (including Vizag city) and Vizianagaram districts and a dedicated team of officers will be appointed soon to all AHTUs, including the existing three at Eluru, Guntur, and Anantapur.
Local police unit heads will be nodal officers of the AHTUs and an Additional DG rank officer from CID has been designated as State Level Anti Human Trafficking Nodal Officer.AHTU, an integrated task force, was set up in 2007 by drawing personnel from the police and other related departments, with funding by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
“In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (s) section 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Central Act No.2 of 1974), the State government hereby declare all the Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) as police stations for the purpose of the said code and they shall be housed in Disha police stations,” the Government Order, issued on Tuesday, reads.