Raid in Sangli
The police cooperated with Freedom Firm to plan a raid on the red-light district in Sangli. Investigators had found several girls in the brothel who were potentially minor, one of them, Sasi*, was the granddaughter of the brothel keeper. A raiding team of over 50 people was organized into 3 groups. The first consisted of an undercover police team which went ahead to block off the target area. The second team, led by Greg, then moved into the red-light-district followed by the third team led by Shyam.
At first, the targeted girls were nowhere to be found. The police entered brothels at random and started grabbing suspected minors and even major girls. When Greg was seen on the raid, brothel keepers in the area began screaming, “Gora (which means white-man) has come, run and hide!” All brothels were hurriedly shut down, lights were turned off and police started kicking down doors as they continued their search. Angry brothel keepers tried to wrench the girls away from the police and interfered in any way they could.
The first team rescued the targeted girl, Sasi, and her brothel keeper. About 30 other girls were rescued that night as well and taken to the Vishram Bag police station. The police agreed to separate the minors and majors and ask the major girls if they wanted to leave prostitution and go home or consider other options. 18 girls said that they wanted to go home instead of returning to the sex-trade but many seemed unsure of their decision.
Later on, a big mob came with a group of brothel keepers to the police station and began arguing with the police to release the girls. Fake birth certificates for the suspected minors were produced and the police refused to release the girls until the certificates were verified. The large-scale raid and subsequent mob was thoroughly covered by the press, and one TV channel interviewed Greg about the events of the evening.
3 minor girls, including Sasi, were taken into custody. One was mute and therefore could offer no information at all about herself. The other two girls claimed to be 18 or older, but only medical tests can offer proof.
*name changed to protect identity