Updated: Oct 23
Six victims rescued from a hotel in Pune, Ahmedanagar Highway
While we were investigating the Ahmedanagar Highway in Pune at the end of August, we learned about a suspected minor, a Bangladeshi national, being exploited in a hotel near the highway. According to our source, the victim, Lalitha, was desperate to get out of prostitution. We also learned that she was being moved to Mumbai the next day.
We went to the Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU), presented the officer with the evidence, and asked for help to initiate a raid. They agreed.
On August 24, our first raid failed. Though well-planned, someone tipped off the brothel before we arrived.
For a few days we were unable to track Lalitha.
On September 4, we learned from our source that Lalitha was back in the hotel.
On September 5, since we knew someone was trying to undermine Lalitha’s rescue, we went straight to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) to present the case. The DCP and the AHTU decided that an immediate raid was in order.
At 5:30 p.m. we proceeded to Lalitha's location approximately 19 miles away. At 7:25 p.m. the police and our team raided the brothel. We rescued Lalitha, and found five other victims being exploited in the hotel. One customer managed to run away. The police arrested the two brothel managers; both males were in their late 20s.
The police interviewed each victim and collected details, then they questioned the brothel managers. We accompanied the victims to their medical tests, then to a shelter home in Pune, where they are now safe.