Updated: Mar 3
A Bangladeshi victim rescued was from a brothel in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra
Late in the evening of February 21st, while our team was investigating, we received a lead about a Bangladeshi victim being forced into prostitution in a brothel in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Here is a timeline of events:
February 22nd - Early in the morning, our social worker and liaison officer traveled to meet the Superintendent of Police, SP, for assistance but he was out on work. The Additional Superintendent of Police, Addl.SP, was also out but we were informed he would be back shortly.
After a long wait, the Addl.SP came back and met us. We shared about the victim and our work. He directed us to the Anti Human Trafficking Unit, AHTU. Our team wanted the police to initiate the raid the next day but an officer from the AHTU shared that they didn’t have staff to initiate the raid so we needed to wait.
However, later that evening we learned that the local police had raided the same location we were planning to raid. We got information that as soon as the police raided the brothel, the victim ran away.
Suspicious of this sudden raid by the police who had passed us off, we went to meet the AHTU for an update on the situation while a few members of our team tried to locate the victim.
February 23rd - The next day at 11 am, our team got a call from a member of the AHTU saying that they were waiting for us so they could proceed with the raid. We told them we would update them as soon as we had confirmation that the victim and the pimp were at the location. We had to wait for sometime for an update about the victim and the pimp. As soon as we learned that the victim was at the location, the police and our team proceeded to the location.
On seeing the police, the pimp tried to escape but the police caught him. We found the victim on the first floor and our team ensured that she was safe. When the victim was questioned on how she reached the brothel, she pointed to the pimp that the police arrested and said he had brought her there. Unfortunately, the hotel owner who was also involved in exploiting young girls and women had run away. After collecting all the evidence and writing reports, the police, the victim, the accused and our team proceeded to the police station.
It was 11pm by the time the police finished writing their reports and filed a First Information Report against the accused. We requested the police to place the victim, Bhanu, at a one stop center for the night and thankfully they agreed and gave us a letter to do so. We first accompanied the victim to a government hospital for her general medical tests, and then dropped her off at the one-stop center at 2:30am on the morning of the 24th.
February 24th - Bangladeshi victim Bhanu was produced in court to record her 164 statement. (A formal record from her words of what had happened to her.) The court also passed an order for Bhanu to be placed in a shelter home in Pune. The accused was also produced in court and was ordered to remain in police custody for five days. After the appointment at court, Bhanu was taken back to the government hospital for an ossification test. We then escorted her back to the one stop center where she could finally rest for bit.
February 25th - Bhanu was taken to the government hospital where the last round of tests were done. After this the police and our team accompanied Bhanu to the court appointed shelter home in Pune. We will continue to follow up with her and her case. We are grateful for one more girl with an opportunity to regain her life.