20-yr-old Bangladeshi sold twice in a month’s time and forced into prostitution until her SOS eached Sheikh Hasina, who alerted the Interpol. Special city police team did the rest.
This could have been just another story of an impoverished girl pushed into the flesh trade by a scheming relative, until it turned into an international rescue operation involving special police teams from two countries.
The victim, who is now on her way home by the Padma river in Bangladesh, may not be aware of the effort put in by her government and Mumbai Police to have her rescued, but she will have to thank her Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who came to know about her plight through one of her employees, who happened to be the victim’s relative and decided to reach out to her.
As of now, having been sold off to two brothels in two different cities in just a month’s time, she will only be counting the hours before she is reunited with her family.
A 20-year-old girl from Bangladesh was brought to India by her relative identified as Mustav on the pretext of securing a job. No sooner did they cross the border, Mustav allegedly sold her off to an agent called Kobi, who brought her to a brothel in Surat on May 1.
The girl lived there for a month till she managed to get in touch with Mustav again and pleaded with him to get her out of the hell hole. Mustav apologised and promised to take her home, but he had other plans.
He did come down to Surat and got her out of the brothel, but only to bring her to Mumbai and sell her off again to a certain Reena Ganguly in Kamathipura for Rs 25,000. Realising that there was no way she could escape her fate, the girl finally joined the flesh trade.
ACP Feroz Patel of Social Service branch said, “The girl did not know any Hindi and could not ask for help from anyone around her.
Kamathipura girl set to go home With a lot of effort she picked up a smattering of the language from her clients and other prostitutes and began communicating.”
It was one of her clients, whose name cannot be revealed, who sympathised with her and seven days ago arranged for a SIM card so that the victim could talk to her family back home in Bangladesh. Luckily for her, one of her relatives works with the PM’s office in Dhaka, and sought her help to rescue her from Kamathipura.
Additional Commissioner (Crime) Deven Bharti, who led the rescue mission said that the Bangladeshi government had sent a request through the Interpol.
“After Interpol got in touch with us the PM’s request, we formed a special team to rescue the girl.”
This special team of the Social Service Branch under the stewardship of Patel and crime branch Unit II, Nishikant Patil, Bhashkar Kadam, Hridinath Mishra and Subhash Mali began combing Kamathipura.
“We were informed that a few new girls had been introduced in some of the brothels. We branched out and mingled with the crowd there and finally on Wednesday managed to trace the 20-year-old and four others who were brought along with her,” said an officer from the Mumbai crime branch.
The police have arrested Mausami Raju Shaikh the manager of the brothel while brothel madam Ganguli has fled to Kolkata and has been named absconding.
“This was part of an international trafficking racket. We have booked the accused under the acts of PITA (Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act) and have handed over them to DB Marg police station, which is investigating the matter,” said Patel.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh government has been informed of the happy developments, and arrangements are being made to take the girl home, said the police.
Report prepared by Vinay Dalvi and Nazia Sayed and first published at Mumbai Mirror.