Shocking: Over 40,000 women went missing in Gujarat in five years...Here's the appalling revelation!

In a shocking piece of news, over 40,000 women have gone missing in Gujarat in the period of five years, between 2016 to 2020. The appalling revelation was brought to light by the data of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and has put the state ruling BJP regime in trouble.

As the revelation is connected to the state where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah belong to, the data has drawn a sharp attention from across the nation and the grim data has also sparked a debate over the progress made by the BJP government to curb such missings as the trend of such events is yet to be addressed by the state government.   

Earlier this year, BJP has marked a landslide victory in the Gujarat assembly polls and though the party has got a mandate to run its two-decade long reign in the state, the data shows that there is no end for what has been happening in the state for more years. As per the NCRB data, 7,105 women went missing in 2016, 7,712 women went missing in 2017, 9,246 women went missing in 2018, and 9,268 women went missing in 2019. 

In 2020, the data says that 8,290 women have gone missing and the total tally of number of women went missing between 2016 to 2020 is 41,621. In 2021, the BJP government made a statement in the Assembly that 4,722 women went missing in just one year (2019-2020) in Ahmedabad and Vadodara. According to several reports, Sudhir Sinha, a former IPS officer and member of the Gujarat State Human Rights Commission cited that women are forced into prostitution. 

He said, "In some missing person cases, I have observed that girls and women are occasionally sent to states other than Gujarat and forced into prostitution. The police system's problem is that it doesn't treat missing person cases seriously. Such cases are more serious than murder. That's because when a child goes missing, the parents wait for years for their child, and the missing case should be investigated as rigorously as a murder case." 

He further said, "Missing person cases are frequently ignored by the police since they are investigated in the British-era manner." The NCRB data has triggered a fury in the state and has brought criticisms from the opposition. By citing the BJP's latest propaganda of supporting 'The Kerala Story' which alleges about the conversion of Hindus into Muslims, Gujarat Congress spokesperson Hiran Banker said, "BJP leaders talk about women in Kerala but more than 40,000 women are missing in Gujarat, the home state of our country's Prime Minister and Home Minister." 

Reacting to the NCRB data, former additional director general of police, Dr Rajan Priyadarshi said that human trafficking was the reason why girls have gone missing. He said, "During my tenure, I observed that a majority of missing women are picked up by illegal human trafficking groups who transport them to another state and sell them." 

"When I was a Superintendent of Police in Kheda district, a person from Uttar Pradesh who was working as a labourer in the district picked up a poor girl and sold her in his native state, where she was put to work as a farm labourer. We managed to get her rescued, but this does not happen in many cases", he added. Earlier, Gujarat has also topped in the highest number of custodial deaths in India in 2021.

The NCRB data released last year had shown that India has recorded a total number of 88 custodial deaths in 2021 and Gujarat has recorded the highest number of such deaths for the second consecutive year. As per the data, 23 people have died in custody in Gujarat in 2021 while the state had recorded 15 such deaths in 2020. Out of 23 custodial deaths in Gujarat in 2021, 22 were reported as deaths in police custody and these deaths include - nine by suicide, nine due to other illnesses, two due to injuries after physical torture by the police, and one had died while trying to escape from the prison.