7 victims rescued from a lodge in Midnapore District, West Bengal
On June 12th we learned about a minor being exploited in a town in the Midnapore District in West Bengal (~80 miles from Kolkata). Since we were unfamiliar with the area, we left that very day to verify the lead. After we confirmed the information, we met the Superintendent
of Police on June 13th and shared our evidence. We hoped he would initiate a raid immediately but since it was already evening time and the Panchayat elections were coming up, the police were busy. We went to meet an officer in another local police station. After examining the evidence, he agreed to conduct a raid and we began discussing rescue strategies.
On the 14th, we were back at the police station at 10:45 a.m. The officer and his team were ready. We had a short window to rescue the victim since we had heard she would be going somewhere else later that day. At 12:20 p.m. the police and our team raided the brothel, a three-story lodge on a busy street. We located the targeted victim on the first floor.
As we searched the second floor, we found three more victims (two minors and one major). On the third floor, we found the manager of the lodge, a man in his 30’s, whom the police detained. Then another three victims were found—the police had to break down a door to rescue two who were hiding in the bathroom.
The police recovered evidence that included liquor bottles, condoms, a mobile phone and 2500 rupees ($30) from the brothel. The police arrested a pimp who appeared to be about 38-years-old and three customers— two 18-year-old boys and one 24-year-old man. The victims, the accused, and our team proceeded to the police station.
At the police station, the officer collected all the victims' details and then filed a First Information Report. The accused were kept in police custody. We accompanied the victims to the hospital for their medical tests and then to the shelter home where they were placed for a few days.