SINDHUPALCHOWK, July 11: Bajir Singh Tamang, the dreaded women trafficking kingpin arrested by the Nepal Police one-and-a-half years ago, has been sentenced to 170 years in prison.
In addition to the unusually long jail term, the District Court of Sindhupalchowk has slapped on Bajir a whopping fine of Rs 1.3 million. The court has also ordered Bajir to provide Rs 150,000 to each of the six teenage girls sold by him in India.
This is the longest jail term handed down by the Sindhupalchowk district court.
A single bench of district court judge Ananta Raj Dumre on Wednesday convicted Bajir of trafficking under Article 15 (1) of Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act-2064 BS and of forcing women into prostitution as per the Article 15 (5). The court said the jail term and the fine could be increased if another new victim files a case against him.
The court has held Bajir, who hails from Shikharpur VDC-9 in Sindhupalchowk, as the main culprit in the trafficking of six girls, whose ages vary from 14 to 19 years, to India. The 37-year-old, who the police say owns a brothel in Sahid Nagar in Agra, India, was inadvertently nabbed on November 30, 2011 on public offense charges. Later, Bajir turned out to be the most wanted trafficking kingpin.
Similarly, the district court has sentenced Tek Bahadur BK and Shukra Tamang, two accomplices of Bajir, to 12 and 16 years in prison respectively. The court has slapped on BK a fine of Rs 350,000 and Tamang a fine of Rs 300,000. BK was arrested last year while Tamang was arrested two years ago.
Other five accused in six different cases of women trafficking, of which Bajir is the main culprit, are still absconding. They include Kainli BK, Bachchu BK and his wife Sita BK, Dawa Tamang and his wife Maili Tamang.
Bajir, who worked as the conduit between Indian brothel owners and Nepali trafficking agents, had sold six girls from his own and surrounding villages in India, promising them jobs in Lebanon.
According to the victims, Bajir had sold seven Nepali teenage girls at once in India five years ago. When one of the seven victims managed to escape the brothel with the help of a customer, five more girls were rescued by the police. The missing girl is still believed to be in an unknown Indian brothel. She is the daughter of Tek Bahadur BK, one of Bajir´s two accomplices convicted on Wednesday. Tek Bahadur had sold his own daughter through Bajir.
It is believed that Bajir might have sold many other Nepali girls.
Just three weeks ago, an elderly man from Bhotenamla VDC of Sindhupalchowk had reached the district court and urged Bajir to return his daughter. The elderly man said Bajir had taken his 25-year-old daughter promising her a job in Lebanon four years ago.
The lawyers who pleaded on behalf of the six victims have claimed that Bajir has so far sold at least 26 Nepali girls in India.