Catch prostitution racketeers not victims: CBI



New Delhi: Pointing out that 90 per cent of human trafficking in the country is homegrown, CBI Director AP Singh on Saturday said agencies should concentrate on arresting the mastermind of such gangs rather than catching the prostitutes who are victims of the crime.

Speaking at the annual conference of DGPs and IGPs here today, the CBI chief was of the view that Immoral traffic Prevention Act (ITPA) deals with trafficking for prostitution and all aspects of trafficking like recruiting, harbouring, inducing, etc but it is generally perceived that this act prohibits prostitution, which is a wrong perception.

"It is because of this wrong perception that 85 per cent prosecutions under ITPA are for solicitation and this is like punishing the victim herself and pushing her further into the hands of traffickers. So, we need to catch the real guys behind such prostitution rackets instead of booking the prostitute who may be a victim," he said.

Singh said 90 per cent of human trafficking in India takes place internally even as the country itself remains one of the main origins of trafficking in the world.

The CBI Director said there was an urgent need to regulate regulate activities of placement agencies.

"With urbanisation, demand for domestic helps has increased and many placement agencies have mushroomed in cities and towns which bring children, many less than even 14 years, from poor regions and sell them to needy households," the Director said.

He said CBI has come across many cases where such helps are physically and mentally abused.

PTI