The Punjab Police is yet to commence an investigation into the case of suspected “human trafficking” involving 303 passengers from India, with many believed to be from Punjab. Authorities reveal that despite the passengers being mostly of Punjabi origin, neither central security agencies nor the Gujarat Police, leading the investigation, have shared specific information with the Punjab Police. Furthermore, no formal complaints related to human trafficking have been lodged by individuals from the state.
Various agencies within the Punjab Police, including the NRI wing and the Punjab Bureau of Investigation, express a lack of communication and information transfer from central or state agencies involved in the case. Although possessing a passenger list indicating that approximately 70% of the individuals are of Punjabi origin, the police await crucial details, such as whether the passengers have provided accurate identities in their passports.
An anonymous police official notes that, in usual circumstances, central or state agencies inform local counterparts to facilitate collaborative investigations. However, no such communication has been initiated with the Punjab Police in this specific case. The absence of outreach to the Regional Passport Office raises concerns that passengers may have gone into hiding, potentially out of fear of severe repercussions. Speculations also circulate regarding promises made by travel agents, suggesting refunds if the alleged migration plan failed.
This lack of coordination and information sharing poses a significant challenge to the investigation, hindering the Punjab Police’s ability to probe the matter effectively. As authorities work towards resolving this complex case, the necessity for transparent and collaborative efforts among different agencies becomes increasingly apparent.