In a raid on a brothel in Meergunj Allahabad Saturday, March 19th, police from the Kotwali Police Station together with Freedom Firm staff rescued one minor girl and arrested her brothel keeper. Freedom Firm had previously investigated the brothel, located the minor, and brought the information to the attention of the police.
However, when Freedom Firm staff returned to the police station on 22nd March, no FIR had been filed in the case and the victim and the brothel keeper had been released. When the Freedom Firm team met with the City Superintendent of Police, Mr. Rajesh Yadav, he refused to account for the disappearance of the minor girl and the brothel keeper.
City SP Yadav not only refused to explain the matter but openly threatened Freedom Firm staff when they questioned what had happened to the girl and the brothel keeper. Surendra Sahare, Head of Interventions Freedom Firm, stated that “Mr. Yadav raised his voice and said, ‘What do you think of me? I can arrest you right now and lock you up at Naini jail. Don’t show up here next time either or we will beat you and put you in jail. Even if you escape here you will not escape the red-light area. They will catch you and kill you. So go anywhere else like Kanpur, Banaras, Agra but don’t come here in Allahabad. First I will put you in jail and charge you with false allegation. Who are you? Here, I’m the system and why should I listen to you"?
Mr. Yadav then proceeded to accuse Freedom Firm of “showing off the rescued girls to raise money.” Mr. Yadav continued to threaten and asked Surendra to bring his boss, Greg Malstead to meet with him so that he could explain his own importance in the Allahabad system.
He told Surendra not to come again with information about girls, because, “Next time we will not give you a police force to rescue girls. We know our work and how to do it.”When Freedom Firm lawyer Charlie Prakash asked again about the status of the rescued girl, Mr. Yadav turned to him and said, “Who made you magistrate and judge?” The two Freedom Firm staff were then asked to leave the office.