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Space For Rent
Sunday, May 24, 2015, Jaishtha 10, 1422 BS, Shaban 4, 1436 Hijr

300 migrants from Sirajganj remain untraced for long
Family members passing anxious moments
Published : Sunday, 24 May, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 13
Ashok Benarjee    
SIRAJGANJ, May 23: At least 300 job-seekers of the district, who undertook an illegal journey to Malaysia and Thailand with human-trafficking gangs for work in different times, have remained missing for long.
As a result, the families of missing migrants have become much tensed, and they are passing anxious moments.
According to sources, many vested interest quarters continue to smuggle people off to Malaysia and Thailand through sea route on a regular basis using various schemes and techniques.
Most of the victims consist of aspiring migrant workers from the district, who had been lured by unscrupulous middlemen promising them employment in abroad. As migration cost through the sea route is comparatively low, these people risk their lives to make it to their destination illegally, leaving their dear and near ones, sources added.
During the last few years, more than 4000 illegal migrants from different places across the district, embarked on a journey for overseas jobs, sources further said.
Sources said, Mohammed Elias, son of Tara Sheikh of Saydabad union under Sadar upazila went missing since November 7, 2014 whereas Abdul Maleque, son of Asab Uddin, is also missing for the last six months after they left their motherland for better life in overseas countries.
 In this way, Hiron Sheikh, son of Khalilur Rahman, and Ahmed Sharif, son of Abdul Aziz, of Degreerchar village under Saydabad union of Sadar upazila also fell prey to the traffickers and remained untraced for the last nine months.
Many other young men across the district have met the same fate in search of migration through trafficking gangs, according to various sources.  
This correspondent in the course of grass-roots survey observed many such harrowing tales of sufferings from many family members. The villagers narrated tragic episode unfolding different style, manner and mechanism adopted by the traffickers while trapping young men from the villages.
While speaking with the local people, this correspondent came to know that there has been a rising trend of seeking immigration through traffickers recently, paying Tk 50 thousand to Tk 1 lakh. But the payment rose up in the process of changing hands.
According to a sufferer, who was released from the trap of traffickers after 13 months in condition of anonymity, three to four syndicates are involved in the trade of human-trafficking. Firstly, 8 to 10 boys are given offer for free immigration to Malaysia with only travel charge. In the process, they are brought to Dhaka and Cox's Bazar, and then they are carried to Malaysia by trawlers. From there, the traffickers contact the respective families and demand huge money as ransom to fulfill their ulterior motives.
Kazi Sohel Rana, Executive Director of the Development   for Disadvantaged People (DDP) disclosed that more than 4000 young men have been trapped with false hopes by the human-traffickers. Out of them, more than 300 went missing from trawlers on the way to Malaysia.
SM Emran Hossain, Superintendent of Police (SP), agreeing to the ongoing criminal practices of the traffickers, disclosed nine cases have been filed against 40 persons, of whom 20 have been arrested, and the rest are being identified.
Law-enforcers in the district are engaged in bringing criminals under law on an emergency basis, the SP clarified.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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