Betrayed and then Rescued
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
On October 28th at approximately 7 pm, the police and our team rescued Ruksana, a 29 year old forced into prostitution against her will. Ruksana's husband illegally brought her from Bangladesh to India for a fictitious cleaning job. Once they arrived in Mumbai, her husband told her she needed to work in a brothel. Each time Ruksana refused, he beat her severely.
Eventually he took her to a brothel in a small town in Maharashtra and sold her for 2 lakhs (roughly 2,500 USD). The brothel keeper forced her to sleep with 20-25 customers a day and kept shifting her to different brothels. One day she pleaded with one of the customers and asked if she could use his phone (her phone had been taken away by the brothel keeper). He allowed Ruksana to use the phone and she immediately called her sister in Bangaladesh. Her sister called an anti trafficking NGO who then called us.
We are so thankful we could help rescue Ruksana. She is now living in a shelter home.
The process behind the rescue:
We first heard about two Bangladeshi victims, a forced major and a suspected minor, who were being forced into prostitution in a small town in Solapur, Maharashtra on 22nd October. After collecting evidence, we presented the evidence to the police and together we started working on rescue strategies.
On 26th October, our team was at the brothel in Solapur to ensure both victims were at the location and hadn’t been moved out of the area. Once we verified that both victims were present, we started working on the best rescue strategy.
On 27th October 2022, after confirming that the victims were still in the brothel, we went to meet the Superintendent of Police, SP, in Solapur (Rural) to share the evidence we had so that they would initiate a raid. Both the SP and the additional SP were out of town and would only return to office that Saturday or Monday.
Not wanting to waste time or lose the victims, after scheduling an appointment, we met an officer from the Anti Human Trafficking Unit, AHTU, at 6 pm that evening. After giving him a brief introduction about our work in Maharashtra and other states, we shared the information we had on the two trafficked Bangladeshi victims. The officer agreed to initiate the rescue for the next day.
On 28th October, we were at the AHTU office at 11 am. At about 1 pm, we met the Additional SP from the Solapur police force (urban) and presented the evidence we had on the Bangladeshi victims. He gave the order to the AHTU to initiate a rescue.
At 3 pm the police and our team were at the brothel. One victim was unavailable and the other victim was not at the location. Thankfully the AHTU immediately went into action. Not wanting to lose the victims, they started an investigation to pursue the girls.
Soon they were able to track one of the victims and 29 year old Ruksana was rescued.
(The other suspected minor victim has not yet been found at the time of this writing.)