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Manipur Police Friday rescued as many as 40 Nepali girls from Moreh town bordering Myanmar in Tengnoupal district and arrested a trafficker who was accompanying them. The girls are believed to have been on their way to be trafficked to different cities of South Asian and Middle-east countries through Myanmar.

The arrested man has been identified as Asha Kali Tamang, 42, hailing from Sindhupalchok, Nepal. Police said the girls were rescued from different places of Moreh town during separate search operations which began from early Friday morning.

Speaking to media, Montu Ahanthem-convenor of the MARC revealed that one of its member who is currently in Delhi provided the information that the Delhi Women’s Commission had rescued 3 Nepali girls from Delhi. These three girls had disclosed that a large number of Nepali girls were being taken to India, he said.

Maiti Nepal, a Nepal based NGO working on trafficking, confirmed about this information and an alert was sounded. As per the Maiti Nepal, after questioning the three rescued girls from Delhi, it came to be known that other girls were travelling towards North East to cross the border towards Myanmar, said Ahanthem.

After receiving the information, the MACR immediately informed the police team to conduct search and rescue operation of the trafficked girls. The Tengnoupal district police under the supervision of its Superintendent of Police, Dr. S Ibomcha, swung into action and initially rescued 16 girls early Friday morning during a search operation conducted at Moreh town. Police said the rescue operation began since 8:30 in the morning.

“The 16 girls were rescued from Integrated Check Post, Moreh. They were sent by one Rajiv Sharma, Sunauli town, Nepal with the assistance of some other unknown traffickers”, said the district SP Dr. S Ibomcha. The police team in their continued operation further rescued four more girls and arrested a trafficker from a Hotel.

Later in the evening, 20 more girls were rescued from Raj cottage, Moreh who were trafficked by one Madan from Nepal. However, the trafficker is still at large, the police informed. “This is a major rescue operation at which without the help of police it would have been impossible”, said Montu Ahanthem convenor of MACR.

In separate operation Imphal West police also rescued another 61 women from a hotel in Imphal late in the evening. The police team also arrested one more man believed to be one of the traffickers from the same hotel. While police are not in the position to give any details, it is believed that rescued women could be victims of the same racket  which was busted by the police in Moreh border town earlier today.

He informed that the rescued girls will be accommodated at Ujjwala Home run by Center for Development Activities (CDAC). The deportation of the girls shall be processed after proper verification, he said.

The MACR convener said that Manipur has now become one of the gateways of human trafficking the Government should take a serious note of it and include a certain provision in the Act East Policy to curtain this issue.