Sleuths of the Social Security Cell (SSC) rescued a minor girl and a 21-year-old BSc undergraduate from a brothel in Budhwar peth area yesterday afternoon and arrested two women who were acting as madams. Ritika (name changed) who hails from Dehradun in Uttarakhand is one of the women rescued during the raid, while the other is a 16-year-old girl who was kidnapped from Sivan district in Bihar six months ago.
The women who were forcing the two into prostitution have been identified as Salma Rahi (35) and Seema Thapa (40). The owner of the brothel however managed to escape. “We received a tip-off from city-based NGO Rescue Foundation stating that two girls had been forced into prostitution at the brothel,” said Police Inspector Bhanu Pratap Barge of the SSC.
The raid was conducted on the third floor of a building, which housed the brothel during the afternoon. The police team led by Barge called up the brothel mangers asking them to produce all their girls. The two who were allegedly being forced into the trade were singled out from the line-up. During questioning, the two girls revealed that they had been sold and then forced into prostitution by the brothel owner and managers.
“We rescued the girls from the brothel and arrested Rahi and Thapa under the relevant sections of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA). However, the owner of the brothel is still at large and is believed to have fled to Nepal,” Barge said.
Barge added that Ritika was an undergraduate student at a science college in Dehradun where she was befriended by a male co-student.
“She met a student going by the name of Anil. After gaining her trust, Anil convinced her to elope with him and also promised to marry her. A year ago, they eloped after which he sold her to a pimp in Dehradun. The pimp brought her to Pune and then sold her to the brothel owner,” Barge said.
The minor girl on the other hand was kidnapped from a village in Bihar along with her younger brother seven months ago. The police said the minor duo was abducted while they were the way to get admission details from a college.
“A person known as Ravider Yadav kidnapped the girl and her brother and sold her to a pimp in Sivan. That pimp then sold her to the brothel owner,” the police official said.
He added that both girls are from well to do families and the police are in the process of checking whether there have been any missing person complaints regarding the girls.
Cases so far
In 60 cases so far, 104 victims, including 40 minor girls, were rescued from various brothels from the red light area in Budhwar Peth. “We have arrested over 100 people, including 69 women, who were running brothels and forcing girls into prostitution,” Barge said.
The raiding team included Dattatray Nikam, Ganesh Jagtap, Ajit Dhumal, Sohanlal Chakule, Shashikant Shinde, Sandip Holkar, Damayanti Jagdale, Vaishali Jadhav, Dipak Jade and Sachin Kokare.