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A tweet to India's Rail Ministry saved a young woman from alleged human traffickers on 5 January. Radha Lohar said she was being taken against her will from Hyderabad to New Delhi "for work" and was able to alert a fellow passenger of her situation.
The 19-year-old passed a letter saying that she was an orphan, from the district of Alipurduar in West Bengal, that the people with her were not letting her go back home and that she didn't want to do the work that they were forcing her to do. She also mentioned that she was a student in the 10th grade.
The information was quickly passed on to the Indian Railway Ministry via Twitter, which immediately responded to the request for help. Divyansh Khunteta, who received a picture of the letter from his relatives who were on the train, tweeted the Ministry and asked staff to "make sure that everything is fine". He wrote that he believed the girl was being "taken forcefully to Delhi".
Within 15 minutes of sending the tweet, an official from the Railway Ministry responded on Twitter to ask for further details of the passengers on board. The Railway Protection Force Personnel was quick to react and stopped the train when it arrived at Ramagundam station on route to Delhi.
A spokesperson for the Indian Railway Ministry said: "The timely action of the railway officials, who acted on a tweet, enabled [the] rescue of an orphan girl. The victim, along with the accompanying passengers, was detained at Ramagundam. The girl was taken under protective custody of Pratham, an NGO."
The Railway Ministry said that plans were being made to send the girl back to her home town. Investigation by officials into the situation revealed that the girl was working with placement agency KT Enterprises in New Delhi and had gone to Hyderabad for work. It remains unclear whether the men were charged with any offences.