13:35 GMT +319 December 2018
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    Women's Panel Unearths Dark Cages Housing Minor Girls in Delhi's Brothel Colony

    © AFP 2018 / Chandan Khanna
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    Frequent raids by the Delhi Women Commission have confirmed that the brothels in Dehli’s GB road largely constitute trafficked women, most of whom are minors. The minors are kept in narrow underground cage-like structures whenever raids are anticipated.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) —  The narrow lanes of Delhi's GB Road, just behind one of India's busiest railway stations, is colonized by brothels that entertain lonely souls, mostly migrant laborers from adjoining states. But hiding behind the glitz and the hustle-bustle are the dark cages, mostly underground, that are witness to the horrifying tales of minors trafficked from near and far and forcibly thrown into the flesh trade.

    These dark cages called 'Tehkhanas' (Hindi translation of underground prison) have come under the spotlight once again after Delhi's apex women's rights body summoned the local authorities for failing to curb the practice of keeping minor girls as captives in hidden cells whenever a raid is anticipated.

    The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has summoned North Delhi Municipal Commissioner to appear before it next week for not taking any action to dismantle the Tehkhanas. The summons was issued after Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chief Swati Maliwal inspected the brothel lanes.

    "The DCW team visited these brothels several times and found Tehkhanas inside which are used to hide minor girls during raids," Maliwal told Sputnik.

    The commission will not tolerate any crime against minor girls, she added.

    ​Talking to Sputnik, Swati Maliwal has confirmed that the municipal authorities and the Delhi Police were informed about these hidden cells through letters and also in meetings but no action was taken. The commission had asked the municipal authorities to demolish the cells before December 2016 but it failed to do so. Some months ago, Swati Maliwal had alleged that the brothels in Delhi were flourishing under the patronage of politicians.

    The women's commission has now warned local authorities of legal action if timely and adequate measures are not taken to dismantle the illegal structures in the brothels. The commission has issued notices to the local authorizes asking them to clarify the reasons for non-compliance with its earlier orders.

    The Commission is mandated to investigate and examine all matters related to the safeguards provided for women under the Constitution and give recommendations to the government on the issue of women's safety.

    brothel, sex abuse, human trafficking, women, migrants, India, New Delhi
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