Updated: Jul 18, 2020
On the 27th of February in the city of Pune, Maharashtra, Freedom Firm rescued Nilam, a minor girl originally trafficked from West Bengal. When Freedom Firm and Take Her Back, another anti-trafficking organization, conducted joint investigations in May 2018, they found Nilam. She was not rescued that month as there was a tip-off during the raid. We found her once again in December in an adjacent brothel and attempted to rescue her on January 18th and again on January 19th. However, due to tip-offs, the raids were unsuccessful.
Then, on the evening of 27th February, investigators saw her near the brothel. Freedom Firm and the Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) prepared to rescue her but the area was alerted and in chaos. We were losing hope, but a few minutes later, our investigator told us that she was inside and was engaged by a decoy customer. In less than 2 minutes, Freedom Firm and the AHTU team entered the brothel and rescued Nilam and a major girl.
The girls were taken to the nearest police station. The police checked to see if their names were registered as sex workers and if they had valid documents. Their names were not found in the register but the inspector was hesitant to file a case and wanted to send the girls back to the brothel. We learned that another anti-trafficking organization had also conducted a rescue operation a few hours ago which explained why the police were hesitant to file this case.
After a long discussion with them, we finally convinced the police to file a case. The brothel keeper was arrested under relevant sections of anti-trafficking laws. The girls were taken to the hospital for an age verification test and later placed in a shelter home. The girls will be produced before the magistrate for an enquiry and to receive appropriate orders for their restoration.
*Name changed to protect identity