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Exclusive: An Indian Daughter Sold to Sheikh for 2.5 Lakh in Dubai Evacuates

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Heena was threatened that her hands and feets would be chopped off and be thrown away to an untraceable location if she tried to run away from the place
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– by Naina Mishra

Chandigarh, May 10, 2017: Every young girl in India fancies of traveling overseas in the wake of fulfilling her hopes. It takes only a passage of deceived time for the travel agents to thwart someone’s coveted dream into the worst nightmare. Human Trafficking is the common sight in India. It is the third largest crime after drugs and arms trade across the globe.

The majority of the trafficking victims are those from the most disadvantaged social strata. And as we take women and girls into the account, the victims are especially the ones from excluded group thus making them vulnerable to the traffickers.If you are born into a poor family, you have a fair chance of being sold and if you are a girl which is born into a poor family then the risk of getting sold increases a thousand folds.

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Every now and then, young naive girls from India are streamed overseas to solicit the Arab clientele. On the similar grounds, such is a story of the brave Heena, 20 from Jalandhar, Punjab who was sold to Sheikh for 2.5 Lakhs. Just like an ordinary lower class girl, she dreamt of a well-appointed life for herself and her family.

Heena broke the silence in front of the public on May 09 in a press conference arranged by the Helping Hapless, an NGO which seeks to evacuate the victims of Human Trafficking from the Arab countries.

Heena is the sole daughter of her parents and was sent to Dubai through a Travel Agent from Jalandhar who took 2.5 lakh from the girl’s parents. She was promised the job of a Dental Assistant in Dubai. However, on reaching Dubai she was shockingly introduced to the hard-hitting truth of trafficking. Heena was kept locked in a room for days by the harbourers and was later sent to the home of Mohammed Abdullah as a domestic helper. She was mauled several times whenever she requested for a break. Heena has bruises all over the skin of the torment she had to face during her stay to the spiteful place.

“I was given the leftover food to eat. They made me work for twenty hours a day and there were times when I used to ask them to give me rest and was beaten straightaway. I was burnt with the electric press every time I asked them for any favor. They told me to pay 2.5 lakhs If I want to be released.” said Heena.

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Heena was threatened that her hands and feets would be chopped off and be thrown away to an untraceable location if she tried to run away from the place. Wretched with circumstances, Heena withdrew all her hopes to see her family ever again in life. One day Heena got her hands on WhatsApp and she then tried to contact her father. She sent all the pictures of her bruises as a proof to let her father know of the miserable condition she has succumbed to at the cost of earning more. Heena’s father then approached to Ms Amanjot Roomawalia, President of NGO Helping Hapless to solicit for help.

Ms. Roomawalia on March 27 wrote to the Indian High Commissioner, Mr Navdeep Suri to help her bring India’s daughter back to her country. Finally, on 28th April, Dubai Police brought Heena back from the clutch of her employer Mohammed Abdullah.

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“There are nearly about 4-5 cases of Human Trafficking being reported every month. And it takes 2-6 months to evacuate the victims.” told the President of NGO to Newsgram.

The situation of Human Trafficking in India is startling and frightful. Thousands of Indians both Men and Women are sold in Arab Countries and are made to live a life of slavery.

Parents think that sending their kids to middle east means a better life in terms of high salary and employment opportunities. However, such is not the case and many fall prey to the traps of false well-acquainted life.

What should be expected from the government is to build tight grounds against the traffickers. A mere justice to the victims take years which is again a question on the hollow system of law and order of the country.

– Reported by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: Nainamishr94

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Did the hijack of flight IC-814 bring India to its knees?

The flight number IC-814 of the Indian Airlines, travelling from Kathmandu to New Delhi was hijacked mid-air.

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The ill-fated flight IC-814 was destined to fly from Kathmandu to Delhi
The ill-fated flight IC-814 was destined to fly from Kathmandu to Delhi

NEW DELHI: The Christmas Eve of 1999 doesn’t go well into the books of Indian history. The whole global community was hit with the hell of a jerk when the news of a plane hijack was set out by the Indian media channels. The flight number IC-814 of the Indian Airlines, travelling from Kathmandu to New Delhi was hijacked mid-air. At the time of the hijack, the airline was carrying 178 passengers and 11 crew members on board, after it took-off from the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.

This incident shattered the whole Indian Intelligence wing and questions were already raised on the credibility of R&AW agency. R&AW (Research & Analysis Wing) is the external intelligence unit of India and looks up for the foreign threat counts. But after the hijack of IC-814, every available resource was scrambled to contain the situation which was already out of hand.

Till date, there are a lot of unanswered questions as to why there was no show up of NSG commandos when the aircraft landed at Amritsar and the time was ripe enough to launch a counter-attack on the hijackers.

An article by a profound writer and columnist, Kanchan Gupta has rightly concluded in one of his articles on Kandahar hijack that India standout to be a nation of cowards. When it mattered the most, Indian people turned out in their true colours and let the nation down by surrendering in front of the hijackers.

Prime Minister Atal Beharai Vajpayee thoroughly counted every possible option at his disposal
Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee thoroughly checked all the possible options at his disposal

The initial impact

During this mishappening, NDA government was in the centre and till date is held responsible for such a huge goof-up. The then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in mid-air at the time of the hijack and from the time of the hijack incident, he was informed almost after two hours. The lag in the communication is blamed on the lack of satellite phones at that time.

The moment Vajpayee landed at the Palam Air Base, National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra broke the news of plane hijack.

Vajpayee was taken aback by it and called for an emergency meeting with his security advisor and cabinet ministers. He also called off his birthday and Christmas celebrations, scheduled for that evening.

Later, the five hijackers were identified as Ibrahim Athar, Shahid Akhtar Sayed, Gulshan Iqbal, Sunny Ahmed Qazi, Mistri Zahoor Ibrahim, and Shakir. All of them were found to be the residents of Pakistan and belonged to a dreaded militant organization.

Hijacking ordeal

Just after few moments of the takeoff of flight IC-814, militants hijacked the plane and diverted it to Lahore airport but they were denied permission to land at the airport. Then they head towards Amritsar after realizing that the flight was running low on fuel. The Amritsar’s airport, Raja Sansi Airport was immediately alerted about the hijack and directed to prevent the plane from taking off after the planes landing.

The hijackers demanded the refueling of the plane but it was blatantly rejected by the Indian officials and the aircraft stayed there for another forty-five minutes. Soon hijackers got suspicious and expected a commando attack, so they stabbed a passenger and forced the flight to take off with an almost empty tank. Then the under pressure pilots took off from there and attempted another landing at Lahore airport, even after the denial of permission from Pakistan’s airport authority. But with sheer courage and skill, both the flight pilots of IC-814 landed the plane safely at the landing strip and parked it in the airport’s bay area.

After the refueling of the aircraft by the Pakistani authority, hijackers took off from there and flew to Dubai airport. Dubai officials permitted them to land there and in return, successfully negotiated the release of 13 women and 11 children. The next morning, the plane took off for Afghanistan and landed at Kandahar Airport, at that time which was under the direct control of the terrorist organization.

Demand for ransom

On holding their fort at Kandahar airport, the hijackers demanded the release of 36 terrorists held in Indian prisons in return for safe passage for the people onboard. After hours of herculean negotiations by the security officials, Indian government stumbled upon a deal with them and finally agreed to release three terrorists in exchange for all the hostages. The name of terrorist to be freed included Maulana Masood Azhar, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, and Ahmed Omar Sheikh.

Within no time, the paperwork was done in order to release the terrorists and they were flown to Kandahar airport.

Finally, after suffering of five stressful day, people were relieved from the captivity of the hijackers
Finally, after suffering for five stressful days, people were relieved from the captivity of the hijackers

Moment of sigh

After that, two aircrafts left for Kandahar airport and Indian officials made the exchange. On the evening of 31st December, hostages of flight IC-814 were flown back to Delhi and a sense of relief prevailed in the Indian government and its people. But, soon the NDA government came under intense fire from various political parties.

Following this incident, India didn’t take much time to learn from this blunder and till date, it is made sure that nothing sort of that magnitude occurs ever. Although, there are still many unresolved mysteries going around in the minds of the people, but no one is up to take the responsibility for such a gaffe. Even the presence of an R&AW agent in the hijacked plane is a matter of contention. Reports suggest that R&AW officials were tipped prior to the hijack but were rashly rebuffed.

Irrespective of all the fuss, the unchallenged credit goes to the people involved in this whole incident and we salute to the bravery and courage put up by the flight pilots and the people on board.