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A Suspected Minor is Rescued from a Lodge in Pune, then Runs Away


Banu after her rescue

On May 22, we received information that a suspected minor was being forced into prostitution in a lodge in Pune.


The next day we visited the Superintendent of Police’s (SP) office in Pune, but he was not present. His assistant directed us to Pune’s Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU).


That evening, the AHTU and our team proceeded to the location (59 miles) to rescue Banu. When we were less than a mile from the lodge, the AHTU informed us that the lodge was outside of their jurisdiction, and they could not continue with the rescue. We were concerned that the brothel might be tipped off and the victim could disappear, so we asked the AHTU to reconsider, but they said they needed to abide by the protocols, so we called off the raid. 


On May 24, we approached the SP of Ahmednagar with evidence of the suspected minor’s exploitation, and he directed us to Ahmednagar’s AHTU. After discussing rescue strategies with the AHTU, we once again drove 59 miles to the lodge, and arrived at midnight. We received intel that the pimp was not taking any more customers for the night, so we went back. 


The next morning, after we finalized another rescue plan with the AHTU at their office, we once drove to the lodge. 

During the raid

On May 25, at 3:48 p.m., the police and our team rescued the victim, Banu from the lodge in Pune. Banu insisted that she was from West Bengal, but our information suggested she was from Bangladesh. The police arrested a female pimp who appeared to be in her early 40s, and after the police filed their reports, we proceeded to the police station about 22 miles away. 


We arrived at the police station at 6:30 p.m., and the police completed filing the First Information Report in the early hours of May 26. Later that day, we accompanied Banu to court, where the magistrate ordered that she be placed in a shelter home, and for her medical tests to be conducted. We accompanied Banu to the shelter home. 


On May 27, we accompanied Banu to her medical tests. While we were waiting for her to complete a urine sample, Banu ran away. When we realized she was gone, we searched inside and outside of the hospital, but found no trace of her. 


The police filed a missing person complaint and followed a few leads to track down Banu. We spoke to the SP in Ahmednagar who assured us of their efforts to find and rescue Banu as soon as possible. 


Outside the raid location

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