6 victims rescued; 9 suspects arrested
During an investigation on November 10th, our team found a minor girl soliciting customers in an area of Madhya Pradesh. We immediately shared the evidence with the police. The police had some other matters to address so we waited four days until they were ready to act.
On November 14th around 1:30 pm, the police and our team went to rescue the minor. When we found her, one of the police officers tried to grab hold of her. Taken by surprise, she threw a quick punch at the person closest to her, and fled from the area. She ran so fast into an open field nearby. Even though we ran after her, we could not find her.
While searching the brothel, we found three minors and three majors there against their will. Three pimps, five customers and the brothel keeper were arrested on the spot! After the police filed initial reports and collected evidence from the crime scene, everyone went to the police station to complete the remaining paperwork.
A mob started to gather after we arrived at the police station. For centuries, this community has practiced the tradition of sacred sex slavery. Many parents sell their young daughters and respond in anger when their income is threatened. Most of the mob were drunk and tried to put pressure on the police to release the girls. The police asked us to leave immediately because they would not be able to keep us safe. The police promised to keep us informed and share the police report with us later.
Since the rescue, our conversations with the police have given us hope. The three minors are safe in a temporary shelter home. The police have promised to respond seriously to child prostitution in Madhya Pradesh and coordinate future rescue operations with us. We will continue to search for the girl we lost, along with other minors who are being exploited.
Leah Henck, Freedom Firm President, shares the incredible shift this rescue represents:
“The historic and cultural roots of prostitution in Madhya Pradesh run deep. We’ve struggled for several years to sensitize local authorities to the problem, and this rescue represents the first fruits of change!”