Sunday, June 4th, 2006
Guwahati – The outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has issued a diktat asking those involved in trafficking of women and prostitution in Assam to give up or else face severe punishment.
‘We have identified people involved in the racket of the women trafficking and flesh trade and this may be considered the final warning. If someone ignores our warning, they should be prepared to face some very stern action,’ ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa said in a statement received by IANS.
The ULFA, a rebel group fighting for an independent Assamese homeland, said organised syndicates have lured girls from Assam and other northeastern states with promises of jobs and money and later pushing them into prostitution in metropolises.
‘It is found that organised rackets trap young girls from the northeast promising them good education, modelling and cinema assignments or jobs. But in reality, many of these women were pushed into the world of prostitution and some sold at a price,’ the rebel statement said.
The ULFA statement said such incidents of young northeastern girls lured and later sold or forced into prostitution were reported from cities like Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi and Siliguri in West Bengal.
‘There are reports of such incidents taking place in flashy hotels in Shillong and Itanagar as well where girls from the region are provided to clients by such organised syndicates,’ the statement said.
This is the first time the ULFA has taken to moral policing with the outfit recently been accused by Assam police of using call girls from New Delhi as baits to kidnap and extort businessmen to raise funds for its rebel campaign.
A police spokesman said they foiled one such attempt in Guwahati last month by arresting a top ULFA leader along with two New Delhi-based sex workers.
In the adjoining Manipur state, militant groups have for long been involved in punishing teachers to enforce school uniforms, capital punishments to drug peddlers and action against addicts – a move seen by many as attempts by the rebels to create a favourable public opinion by raking up sensitive issues that affect masses.