Sinlung /
02 May 2013

Traffickers Arrested For Selling Indian Girls As Brides

By Nita Bhalla

A girl looks on outside her mud hut in northeast India, on July 2, 2005.

REUTERS/Desmond Boylan
NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Police have arrested seven members of a trafficking ring that kidnapped young girls from the Indian capital and sold them as brides to middle-aged men in other parts of the country, the Times of India reported Tuesday.

The four men and three women were arrested following an investigation into the abduction of two teenage girls, who were rescued from an area in southwest Delhi.

“Police said the gang charged rich landowners in (the northern states of) Uttar Pradesh and Haryana between 50,000 rupees ($921) to 100,000 ($1,842) for a girl, depending on her age," the report said.
Activists say tens of thousands of girls and women are trafficked in India every year, largely for domestic work, sexual slavery and increasingly marriage due to a lack of women in some parts of the country.

A strong preference for boys has resulted in decades of aborting female babies, leading to skewed male-to-female ratios in northern India and rising incidents of rape, trafficking and even "wife-sharing" - one wife shared amongst brothers.

The Lancet medical journal says up to 12 million Indian girls were aborted over the last three decades, resulting in a ratio of 914 girls for every 1,000 boys in 2011, compared with 962 in 1981.

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