Freedom Firm investigators reported the presence of minor girls in Shahada, Nandurbar District, last Thursday. The red-light area in Shahada is 20 years old, but up until now, no ITPA (Immoral Trafficking Preventions Act) case was ever filed despite raids conducted in the area.
On 6th August, when the team raided the area with local crime police, they found Rani*, the target girl outside the brothel unwilling to go inside the room with the ‘fake’ customer. The team rescued Rani, 15-16 years along with a 20-year-old Meera*. The police raided the brothel and in the process found documents that belonged to the brothel keeper and Rs.35,000 in cash. The brothel keeper and a customer were arrested.
In her statement at the police station, Rani mentioned that she was rescued before once before in the same area and once in a brothel in another town but no case was filed so she was sent back to the brothel. Meera stated that she was trafficked from Nepal and before she came to Shahada she was in a brothel in Pune and once in Nasik.
The girls are placed at a shelter home in the same district while we await the results of their medical verification test. Freedom Firm’s social worker will travel the following week to Rajasthan, which is Rani’s* home state to conduct a home investigation and determine if it is safe for her to return home.
*Name changed to protect identity