In early September, we prepared to rescue a minor victim in West Bengal. Shortly after, we learned about another victim of sex trafficking in a private brothel nearby, so we prepared to rescue both girls.
Although we were scheduled to initiate a raid with the Superintendent of Police (SP) on September 7th, he was not at his office when we arrived so we rescheduled for September 14th.
On the 14th, we waited the entire day for the SP, but once again, he did not arrive. Eventually, we spoke via cell phone and he connected us with police in West Bengal. After several days of coordinating and preparing, the raid was delayed as we waited for critical information. On September 21st, we learned that the first victim was back in the brothel, so at 1:55 p.m. we finalized our rescue strategy.
At 4:25 p.m., our team helped the police raid the brothel and rescue two victims: Ruhana, a minor, and Pallavi, a major who wanted to escape. The police arrested the brothel keeper and a customer.
After the police collected evidence: 1200 condoms, money, and a mobile phone, they closed off the brothel, and our team accompanied the victims and suspects to the police station. After the victims filed their statements, we accompanied them to their medical tests, then to the shelter home.
Shortly after their rescue, Ruhana and Pallavi shared their 164 statements in court. Ruhana was worried about disclosing that her mother forced her into prostitution her own financial gain, but our social workers encouraged Ruhana to tell the truth, and so she did. Pallavi shared that she started prostitution because she struggled financially after her husband abandoned her. Since Pallavi is a major she was sent home. Ruhana returned to the shelter home. The pimp was sent to jail shortly after the rescue and the customer remains in police custody.