The court made the observation while cancelling the bail of a person accused of being involved in human trafficking. “This is a landmark judgment, especially in Bengal, which is gravely affected by trafficking,” said Ravi Kant, a Supreme Court lawyer who represents trafficking survivors and is part of the NGO Shakti Vahini, which works exclusively to rehabilitate and get justice for them. “On several occasions, witnesses going to depose in court get threatened. Though India lacks a proper witness protection programme, the high court’s order should be treated seriously by both the state government and law enforcing agencies, as several victims will be immensely grateful to them.”The order was passed in a case under the Bishnupur police, lodged on September 22 last year. These include investigation of Pocso cases by the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU); transferrence of all such FIRs to the AHTU from the local police within 24 hours of recording the case; and mandatorily recording statements of victims rescued during a raid before a magistrate, medical and psychological assistance to victims and rehabilitation and compensation of victims.
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