With 73 Haryana residents getting deported from the United States for illegally entering the country, the state government on Tuesday set up a seven-member special investigation team to probe human trafficking racket.

The home minister, Anil Vij, said the SIT to be headed by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Karnal Range, Ms Bharti Arora, will probe the all incidents of Kabootarbazi” (human trafficking) in Haryana. Anyone who is a victim of such human trafficking can contact the SIT.

The minister said the US had recently deported 135 Indian nationals to the country out of which 75 were Haryana residents. Earlier the US had deported 73 Haryana residents against whom first information reports (FIRs) have been registered.

Vij said while these cases of human trafficking have come to light from the US, similar cases can also be there in other countries. He said the state residents deported from the US are victims of human trafficking and faced inhuman treatment during their journey from India to the US.

“They were sent through sea and forest routes. And sometimes they were hidden in trucks without food and subjected to torture. They were caught as soon as they entered the US and deported back to India,” Vij said adding that a big racket is behind this human trafficking and investigations are under progress as we need to find out who is involved in this racket.

FIRs were registered after most of the Haryana residents deported from the US recently claimed that they were victims of human trafficking. These 73 people from Haryana were part of a group of over Indians who arrived at Amritsar in Punjab by a special chartered flight last week after being deported from the US.

Most of the deported Indian nationals had entered the US from its southern border with Mexico and had exhausted all legal options. They were arrested by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE while trying to enter the US illegally.