Bhopal: The rescue of nine tribal girls being trafficked from Dindori to Mumbai has once again drawn spotlight on the widespread human trafficking network targeting the tribal dominated districts in the state.

The rescue has revealed that 16 girls were sold in various southern states and the news has sent shock waves in the government circles.

The rescued girls were being taken from Amarpur block of Dindori to Jabalpur railway station by two people identified as Sol Singh and Rafeek Khan. The girls were to be handed over to a woman named Vidya Chahal, whose whereabouts are still unknown.

The traffickers had paid Rs 5,000 to the families of the girls in the name of getting them employed as domestic helps.

Arun Pratap Singh, Inspector General, Shahdol Range said, “The investigations have revealed many alarming facts. We are also searching the disappearance of the girls from Mandla and Anoopur and have found that 16 more girls from Dindori were sold in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Mumbai. We have sent a six-member team to Mumbai in search of Vidya Chahal.”

For the record, such human trafficking cases have emerged many times from Dindora and Mandla. Groups active in Guna and Shivpuri run human trafficking racket to sell these tribal girls in the Mumbai flesh market.