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Sensitizing Police as we Rescue a Minor

Minor rescued from a lodge near the Pune highway

On June 14th at 5 pm we got a lead about a minor girl being exploited at a lodge near the Pune highway. We verified the lead, then rushed to the rural police station in Pune to present our evidence to the Superintendent of Police, (SP). Since there was a citywide program taking place, most of the police force was busy maintaining law and order in the city and the SP was out as well. When the SP answered our call, he asked us to give him the information and he would conduct the raid, a request we couldn’t fulfill. We explained to him that the information was extremely sensitive and needed to be handled confidentially and acted upon immediately. (It is part of Freedom Firm's policy to accompany police on raids, providing enough information to warrant a raid but reserving key details to avoid a tip off.)

After a lot of back and forth, he agreed and connected us with the rural Crime Branch for Pune. The officer in charge at the Crime Branch connected us with an officer in his team. We made a meeting time and decided the location we would meet prior to the raid.

When he came with his team, we noticed that there were no female police officers present, we couldn’t proceed with the rescue without female police staff present. We explained since we were dealing with a minor girl, there had to be female police personnel present. We requested him to call his female police staff to the location.

At 3:40 pm the female police officers arrived and without a minute to spare, we proceeded to the location.

Minor victim Noori

At 4:10 pm the police and our team raided the brothel and Noori, the minor victim forced into prostitution, was finally rescued from the lodge. We found two women in their 30's who were also engaging in prostitution at the lodge. The police arrested three men who all appeared to be in their 20's and who were present at the lodge.

The police completed the First Information Report at 12 am. We accompanied Noori for her medical check up and then to the shelter home in Pune where she was placed.


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