Imphal: At least 21 women, including one mentally ill, from Nepal were repatriated by Manipur government on Sunday after they were rescued last year. These women are suspected to be victims of human trafficking.
This is the second such repatriation mission carried out from the state to Nepal, official sources say.
According to social welfare director Ngangom Uttam Singh, the rescued Nepalese women were handed over to Embassy of Nepal counselor, Prakash Adhikari, after completing due procedures for repatriation back to their homes safely in Nepal.
Six officials from the state, comprised of four from home department and two from Ujjawala Homes run under the department of social welfare have been deputy for the journey till Kakadvitta-Panitanki border in West Bengal by bus.
As per the official, all these women were rescued in the month of November and December last year and most of them had come to Manipur in small groups both by air and through land routes in four batches.
Of the 21 women, eight of them detained upon their arrival in the state by Airport Authorities at Imphal International Airport on suspicion due to lack of proper documents. Another 12 of them were detained at the international border at Moreh in Tengnoupal by a team of Moreh police, 43 Assam Rifles and integrated check post officials.
After further interrogation, they revealed that the rescued women were bound to travel to Gulf countries like Kuwait, Dubai etc via Myanmar.
Meanwhile, the mentally ill woman was found loitering in the paddy field at Choithar village in Ukhrul district by locals in last December. Later, she was rescued by the Ukhrul police and kept in Swadhar Home (UNICAM) in the district, run under the department of social welfare with proper medication and psychological treatment during her eight months stay, it said.
The other 20 women were kept at three Ujjawala Homes under the department of social welfare in Kakching and Chandel districts and provided support services like medical aid, food, counselling and vocational training during their stay in the state.
Earlier, as many as 197 Nepalese citizens, including 32 men were rescued by Manipur government and repatriated back to Nepal in February 2019.
The government has appealed the public to remain vigilant so that precious lives can be saved from such clutches of human traffickers.
One may call the women helpline number -181 or inform the nearest police station in case of women-related issues or suspicious activities relating to human trafficking, sources added.