Anju's Day In Court
Updated: Jul 28, 2022
Wednesday, July 13th, 2022
Tomorrow will be a big day for survivor Anju (rescued on 12 March, 2021 from a brothel in Ganga Jamuna in Nagpur). When she was 8 years old she was kidnapped from Madhya
Pradesh while waiting for her father. For 7 long years she was bounced from brothel to brothel in Maharashtra. Over a year after her rescue, Anju has been summoned to the High Court to testify against the accused in her case. Finally Anju will have her day in court and she knows exactly what she wants to say to the judge, ‘’DO NOT GRANT BAIL TO HIM, IF YOU DO SO HE WILL EXPLOIT AND SPOIL MANY MORE LIVES AS HE DID TO ME. AND OTHER SUCH PERPETRATORS WILL ALSO LIVE FEARLESSLY IF IT HAPPENS.’’
Anju and her father with the social worker
She and her father travelled over 300km (~200 miles) from Madhya Pradesh to Nagpur for her to give her testimony. Freedom Firm spent today (Wednesday) with her with her and her father. We picked them up from the railway station, dropped them to the guest house, took them to the police station – where she gave a warm and tight hug to the police inspector (who got very emotional) and then dropped them back to their guest house.
Anju hugs the police officer
Tomorrow is an important day for Anju. Tomorrow is an important day for us and for everyone else fighting sex trafficking. When survivors testify in court, it is more likely that the accused named in their cases will be convicted and will receive the consequences of their actions. Convictions are a warning and a deterrent to everyone involved in sexually exploiting children and minors – you will be caught and you will be punished.
Thursday, July 14th 2022
On Wednesday when we called our panel lawyer who would be representing Anju, we were surprised to learn that she was not aware of Anju or her case. A week ago, our liaison officer requested a panel lawyer from the judicial officer training institute in Nagpur. Though we were sent the lawyer details, the lawyer wasn't assigned Anju's case. Our liaison waited to hear from the panel lawyer, when he didn’t, he called her to ask if she was ready for court tomorrow (Thursday). The panel lawyer told us she wasn't aware of this case and needed time to go through the charge sheet and prepare and wouldn't be able to oppose the bail application in court the next morning.
Thankfully Anju was still called to court and recorded her statement in front of the magistrate. Now that they have her testimony on record, she will not have to come to court when the panel lawyer is opposing the bail application that the accused filed. This is a relief as she and her father were returning back home to MP in the evening. Anju has given her statement, she has not been silenced by the crimes perpetrated against her, and she can put this step behind her as she continues into her future.
The panel lawyer will be opposing the bail application in two weeks.
Read Anju's Rescue Story Here
Read about Anju with her family Here