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Haryana buying brides from other states

July 19, 2010 EP Admin 0 Comments

These brides were bought for Rs 3,000 Villagers in Haryana Mewat district buy women for a pittance from Assam and other N-E states

Nuh (Haryana): In Nagina, a non-descript village in Haryana about 100 kilometres South of Delhi, you do not need a Javed Akhtar to tell you that women in North-east are being traded. Here, you — notwithstanding your age, physical status or financial condition — can actually buy a woman.

All you need to have is a few thousand rupees in your pocket, the strength to traverse 500 metres through slushy streets to reach Roddar, a middle-aged man with over half a dozen kids and equal number of hens. There is every possibility that Roddar will jump at your demand, be prepared to lead you to Assam and show you number of girls to choose from. He may even introduce you to local people from whom he bought Assamese girls or his own wife Bano (25) for Rs 3,000.

“I can buy him a woman anytime. Come with me to Guwahati. Pay for train tickets, food and girl’s parents. You can pay my fee (Rs 3,000) later,” Roddar rattles off as we introduce an ‘eligible’ youth to him. Like any other good trader, Roddar lines up options for us. “Contract de do Rs 15,000 mein. I’ll take care of every thing. Or pay the girl’s parents directly and pay my charges later,” he proposes.

Ask him the details of intended travel to Guwahati and he opens up. He names a place which is around 30 kilometres from the Assamese capital and is his sasural also. His wife Bano butts in and assures us that her parents will arrange for the girl and act as guarantor. He boasts he has supplied thousands of Assamese girls in his region.

Ask for evidence and he brings forward Ramesh, a local youth in Nagina whom he bought an Assamese girl. Roddar claims he at times even brings group of women from Assam and presents them before prospective buyers at his home.

Roddar is not alone who pimps for women from North-east. In almost every hamlet of 550 village-strong Mewat, the newly-created district in Haryana, you find people who bought women from Assam, West Bengal or Bihar for themselves, developed local contracts there and got headlong into the sordid trade. During our travel through Hathin, Nuh and Firozpur Zirka, three major towns of Mewat district, we came across dozens of such pimps.

In fact, every other person who has fetched a woman from the North-eastern states (called Paros in local parlance), gets offers from families of youth who are not getting married for one reason or the other. “People ask me to arrange match and offer me Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000. But I cannot do this,” says Illiyas (40), a rickshaw puller on the outskirts of Nagina who bought Sakina (30) after the death of his first wife. Unfortunately for the investigative agencies, the pimps can only be accessed through local contacts they rely on and the slightest of suspicion drives them away.

Roddar slunk away into a bylane the moment a local contact of his grew suspicious of us and alerted him. The pimps take advantage of dowry system and poverty prevalent in the North-eastern region.

Since Haryana is considered prosperous, it makes even easier for them to convince the girl’s parents. Besides, the male-female ratio in Haryana, and particularly Mewat region, is badly skewed against the girl child and this forces the Mewatese men to look east and shun dowry.

Surprisingly, the administration which launched a campaign against the pimps of women trade in 2003, seems to have lost its momentum since. Superintendent of Police (SP) Sukhdev Singh said the police had received no complaints and were told in most cases that the people brought women with the latter’s consent.

Indecent proposal “Contract de do Rs 15,000 mein. I’ll buy you a girl. Or pay the girl’s parents directly and pay my charges later,” proposes Roddar the pimp Flow-chart of the flesh trade

*Male-female ratio in Haryana, especially in Mewat district, is skewed against the girl child and hence problem of finding a bride

* On the other hand, in Assam, poverty and the prevalent dowry system force parents to sell off daughters for a pittance. The image of Haryana as a prosperous state also boosts the sordid trade

* Brides are sold for as low as Rs 3,000. Assam or North-eastern states are not the only suppliers. Bihar and West Bengal too figure on the list

* Police officials in Haryana say they can’t act unless they receive complaints, claim these marriages are mostly consensual

-- Narendra Kaushik