Hyderabad: In its continuing efforts to tackle the menace of human trafficking, Andhra Pradesh police has proposed setting up of five more Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) across the state.
"In order to address the human trafficking problem in a holistic manner, the state government has already set up five AHTUs in Andhra Pradesh.
Now, proposals have been sent to the government for creation of five more AHTUs," a senior police officer in the Crime Investigation Department (CID) said.
The new AHTUs are likely to come up at Warangal, Tirupati, Nellore, Vijayawada and Visakhapatam, he said, adding the proposals have been forwarded to the government for approval.
So far five AHTUs are functioning in Guntur, West Godavari, Anantapur, Karimnagar districts and at the Women Protection Cell of the CID here.
During 2012, 379 cases of trafficking were registered in Andhra Pradesh up from 306 registered during 2011 and 537 victims including 15 minors were rescued in comparison to the previous year wherein 507 victims including 27 minors were rescued.
As many 752 traffickers and 197 customers were also arrested during 2012 when compared to 646 traffickers and 250 customers respectively in the last year.
Among other things, the AHTUs will deal with three important aspects of trafficking namely, prevention, protection and prosecution.
It will act as a `field level functional unit` to address the issue. The basic concept behind AHTU is to control human trafficking, which is one of the biggest rackets in the country.
AHTUs will also conduct rescue operations with assistance of NGOs, Women and Child Department and Labour Welfare Department whenever they receive information about trafficking either from police sources or NGOs or from civil society, another police officer in the Women Protection Cell explained.