Cops raid brothel and rescue 5 Bangladeshis forced into trade by pimps; cops say this is just the tip of the iceberg
The city police, believing that they were busting a prostitution racket yesterday, also stumbled upon a trail revealing that Bangalore is a hidden destination for illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
The cops acted on a tip-off after Reshma (name changed), a 20-year-old Bangladeshi woman who had crossed the border through West Bengal and was forced into prostitution by an Indian pimp last month, escaped and approached them for help.
Illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in police custody yesterday in the city
Upparpet Police Inspector Lokeshwar raided a house in Ullal satellite town near Bangalore University and rescued five women and arrested five pimps and the kingpin of the racket.
The police informed that the bust is tiny compared to the actual number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants making a beeline for the city, which is quite alarming.
Reshma is one among the few, who enter the country illegally and are sold to pimps and agents, then forced into the oldest profession on the planet.
These women are smuggled into the country on the pretext of securing decent jobs, but are forcibly held at rented houses mostly on the outskirts of the city which double up as living quarters as well as brothels.
The matter came to light when Reshma managed to escape from her Bangladeshi handler Mohammed Babu Bisas, who is also the kingpin of the trade and reached the Majestic bus stand.
A disoriented Reshma approached random members of the public seeking assistance. Good Samaritans listened to her story and advised her to seek police help, which she agreed to do.
In her complaint, she said that Bisas's job is to lure gullible girls from Bangladesh, bring them to India and hand over to various people on a commission basis.
Reshma, who hails from a poor family, was fooled similarly, following which, she and a few other women crossed the Indian border illegally about 20 days ago.
Explaining the modus operandi, she said that the group accompanied Bisas to a village on the Bangladeshi border, where an agent smuggled them into India after collecting a fee of Rs 2,000 from each individual.
She alleged that the border agent was making a lot of money and was in cahoots with border security forces of both countries and facilitated crossings often.
After crossing over, Reshma was in for a rude shock as she was handed over to a person called Umesh, who threatened her with dire consequences, locked her in a room and forced her to work as a prostitute.
After the operation, Lokeshwar said that the number of illegals caught in the bust is negligible compared to the actual reality.
"There are hundreds of illegal immigrants crossing the border and entering the country by paying a paltry some.
They stay here for months doing manual jobs and then return to their homeland via the same route after earning some money," Lokeshwar told MiD DAY.
Lokeshwar added that while few of these hapless immigrants are lucky to land somewhat decent jobs, the better looking women amongst them are invariably sold into prostitution rackets run by unscrupulous individuals like Umesh.
The police have arrested Umesh along with four pimps and Bisas who supplies girls.
"We have booked them and remanded them to judicial custody," Lokeshwar said adding that senior officials have been informed about the racket and further action is awaited.