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Andhra Pradesh: 125 cases were filed by anti-trafficking units in 2021

By funding Rs 1.60 crore in FY 2020–21, the Andhra Pradesh government has created 13 Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) in the State. In accordance with NGOs Sanjog and Tafteesh’s study titled  ‘AHTU Watch 2022 – What Has Changed?’ AHTUs in AP reported 125 instances of human trafficking for Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) during the years of 2020 and 21 based on this information and data received through the Right to Information (RTI).

99 of the 125 CSE incidents were reported in accordance with the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act of 1956 and IPC Sections 370, 370A, 372 and 373. According to the report, the Disha Police Stations are home to 13 AHTUs. One inspector, two sub inspectors, two head constables, and two constables make up an AHTU. The AHTUs’ nodal officers have been chosen.

RTI response, the State government has approved Rs 1.60 crore for the establishment and improvement of AHTUs in Andhra Pradesh for FY 2020–21 in accordance with GO Rt. No. 317, but there is no information available regarding the use of the funds. The study found that police registered 1,300 cases of sexual offences (sexual offences against adults and children under Section 376 IPC and POCSO) in 2019, 1,362 in 2020, and 1,565 in 2021, with 1,046, 1,077, and 744 of those cases still awaiting trials, respectively.

In the years 2019, 2020, and 2021, just 6, 2, and 0 people were convicted, and 55, 17, and 11 people were found not guilty in those years. There are undoubtedly many more acquittals than convictions, with most of the cases still pending or being investigated. Additionally, there are significantly more incidents of sexual assault reported than CSE, and in cases of sexual offences (under Section 376 and POCSO), there are more acquittals than convictions, with most cases still for trial or being investigated. Scholar Pompi Banerjee says that, AP should have 26 AHTUs instead of 13, one for each district. She insisted that AHTUs require a portion of the full-time workforce.


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