Hyderabad being a den for illegal trafficking of minor girls to the Gulf countries is an open secret. Last month, exposure of an illegal trafficking racket which involved a network of qazis and brokers who had sold off a 16 year old to Omani Sheikh, an aging Arab, the Hyderabad Police has once again brought the rot out in the open.
On Wednesday, in a secretly executed operation the Hyderabad Police nabbed eight men, 3 Qatar nationals and five Oman nationals, for being in the city to get married to minors. All these men, barring one, were found to be in the age group between 50 and 60, while the other person were as old as 80 years. They were in the Indian city to marry minor girls and traffic them to the Middle-eastern countries. Not just this, reports suggest that the Hyderabad Police have also been able to crack a nexus of shiekhs, Muslim clerics and agents, who were involved in trafficking of minors.
Police released the names of Omani and Qatari sheikhs arrested as Al Mayahi Habib Ali Issa, Al Salhi Talib Humeid Ali, Al Ubaidani Juma Shinoon Sulaiman, Al Salehi Nasser Khalifa Hamed, Al Qasimi Hassan Mazaaul Mohammed, Omer Mohammed Seraj Abdal Rahman, Hamad Jabir O Al-Kuwari, and Safeldin Mohammed Mohamednour Salih.
Apart from them four lodge owners and five brokers have also been arrested. Three qazis, including the kingpin of the entire racket, Chief Qazi of Mumbai, Farid Ahmed Khan, have also been arrested. The Police have been able to identify 35 brokers from the city of Hyderabad alone.
The Hyderabad Police press release stated:
These brokers will associate with the Sheikhs during their stay, and help them communicate with the local girls and their families. Often, parents are lured with money, and innocent Muslim girls are dragged into marriage to a wealthy sheikh. After reaching the new country, the women end up getting exploited at the hands of several others.
In a press briefing, the Hyderabad Police Commissioner, M Mahender Reddy said:
The agents are responsible for everything. From the reception at the Hyderabad airport to transportation, accommodation, identifying girls, convincing parents, interview between the girl and the Sheikh, coordination with Qazis, making sure that all forged documents are ready, and then sending the girl to her ‘husband’.
Several brokers are also women. We will open history sheets on all of them and track their residences, lodges, houses and even use geo-tagging if necessary.
The police disclosed that the “clients” were categorized as Autowala, Ambassador car wala, and Innova wala. While the first two categories would be put up in lodges and hotels around the Charminar area, the last category would receive “five-star” treatment.
Regarding them the police sinformed:
They are accommodated at upscale star hotels. The agents will exhibit the girls at the hotels, or the shiekhs will visit the house of the girl or broker, to select the one they want to marry.
The police said that they were able to crack this entire traffic nexus while investigating the case of the 16-year-old Indian girl who was married off to a 65-year-old sheikh from Oman. It has to be remembered that in spite of the government intervention, the girl has yet not been rescued.