Updated: Jul 18
Malan Channappa Pujari was arrested on February 15th in an operation to rescue Bindu*, a minor girl, from a brothel in Sangli, Maharashtra. Malan, the brothel keeper, was arrested under sections of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act and has been in jail since then.
Last week, in a court hearing to consider Malan's bail application, the police asked the judge to deny bail since the investigation into her crime was still ongoing. Also last week, an individual from the Sangli red-light area posed as Bindu’s guardian and applied for her custody.
Freedom Firm lawyers and the Sangli police strongly opposed the application with the hope of preventing Bindu's release and likely return to the brothel. Both the bail application by her brothel keeper and the custody application were rejected by the court.
Keeping sex-traffickers in jail and being vigilant in protecting rescued girls from early release are key factors in the fight to end trafficking. We celebrate this measure of accountability for the brothel keeper and the continued safety of Bindu.
*Name changed to protect identity.