Lucknow: In an appreciating move which could lessen the sufferings of women, the Uttar Pradesh government has taken tough stand against trafficking of young girls to big cities and Gulf countries.

The state government has decided to take stringent action against the in-charge and others of Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU), if any case of trafficking is reported. Twelve AHTUs notified in the state have been allocated fund of Rs 90.96 lakh to streamline the work.

The 12 AHTUs were established in Agra, Allahabad, Lucknow, Meerut, Bareilly, Basti, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Moradabad, Varanasi, Maharajganj and Jhansi in first phase. Extending the security cover, the Union Home Ministry has proposed to set up 35 more AHTUs in UP in next phase.

Handing out more power to these units, the state government has given AHTUs a status of a police station, sources said.

After issuing notification to AHTUs for carrying out more stringent actions to curb human trafficking, one Police Inspector has been appointed as an in-charge of AHTU along with two Sub-Inspectors, two head constables and two constables.

Apart from this, one jeep, a motorcycle, a digital camera, two mobile sets and landline phone service have been provided to each AHTU whereas CBCID has been assigned with the task of reviewing the units.

Issuing guidelines to tackle human trafficking, CBCID Inspector General Badri Prasad Singh said that a good networking of exchanging information should be developed in the areas where more cases of human trafficking are reported.

Meanwhile, the Department of Women & Child Development is also keen to extend help to check human trafficking in the state.