To combat human trafficking, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has initiated Operation AAHT. It will primarily target trains that originate in border nations. The Ministry of Railways oversees the operation. (The RPF is governed by the Ministry of Railways.)
RPF special forces would be deployed in long-distance trains as part of the operation. The major goal of the operation will be to save women and children from human traffickers.
Operation AAHT - Statistics and Information on Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is an organized crime that involves the exchange of people for forced labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others, forced marriage, domestic servitude, organ transplantation, drug peddling, and so on
Each year, the National Crime Records Bureau records approximately 2,200 occurrences of human trafficking
Article 23 of the Indian Constitution makes it illegal to traffic in human beings or persons (1). In India, human trafficking is essentially a criminal offence under the Indian Penal Code, which was enacted in 1860.
Operation AAHT - The Railway Protection Force (RPF)
The Railway Protection Force was founded in 1957 by the Railway Protection Force Act for the improved protection and security of railway property and passenger areas.
The Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act 1966 has the authority to search, arrest, investigate, and prosecute offenders. The Indian Ministry of Railways oversees the force.
The working of Operation AAHT
The RPF will gather, consolidate, and analyze clues as part of the mission. Routes, victims, sources, destinations, and popular trains must all be gathered.
The information gathered will be shared with other law enforcement authorities. The RPF will help local law enforcement and serve as a link in inter-state activities.
Operation AAHT will hunt for human trafficking's digital footprints. Cyber cells will be developed. Trains coming from Myanmar, Nepal, and Bangladesh will be given more attention.
Need for Operation AAHT
For human traffickers who frequently carry their victims on long-distance trains, the railways, which run roughly 21,000 trains per day across the country, are the most reliable form of transportation.
The operation is in accordance with the Indian Constitution's articles 23 and 24, which provide for the right to be free from exploitation.
The RPF, which rescued more than 2,000 women and children from the grasp of traffickers between 2017 and 2021, saw the need for an operation like AAHT as the number of cases increased. The National Crime Registers Bureau (NCRB) records about 2,200 cases of human trafficking each year.
People are trafficked for illegal adoptions, organ transplants, circus employment, begging, and the entertainment industry, among other things.
Many Indians and people from surrounding countries are transported to places where they are forced to live as slaves.
The Indian railways are a major source for most of the population of India which makes trains a common mode of human trafficking. Operation AAHT was launched with the sole purpose of targeting these traffickers who frequently traffic children and women for illegal purposes.
FAQs on Operation AAHT
Q.1. What is the main aim of Operation AAHT?
Operation AAHT focuses on rescuing victims from traffickers' hands, notably women and children.
Q.2. Who launched Operation AAHT?
The Railway Protection Force launched Operation AAHT in the hope to control human trafficking via trains.
Q.3. In the context of Operation AAHT, what was the RPF renamed to?
In the context of Operation AAHT, The RPF was renamed to Indian Railway Protection Force Service by the ministry.
Q.4. Who oversees the RPF, with regards to Operation AAHT?
With regards to Operation AAHT, The Ministry of Railways, Government of India, oversees the Force.
Q.5. When was Operation AAHT launched?
Operation AAHT was launched in February 2022 by the Railway Protection Force of India.