The 18-year-old, from Madhya Pradesh, had been brought to the city by the accused on the pretext of offering her a job in event management
An 18-year-old girl from Madhya Pradesh was saved from being sold into prostitution, after police pretended to be an interested buyer and caught the agent who was looking to sell her. The teen is a resident of a village near Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and is an event-management student.
Police posed as buyers and negotiated a deal with Azam Khan for Rs 3 lakh. He was caught red-handed while taking the cash.
Being financially weak, she had been looking for a job, although she had been working at a firm in Indore for some time. Azam Khan (24), who is from Indore, knew her for nearly two years.
He thought she would fetch a high price in the flesh trade as she was a virgin. Taking advantage of her financial situation, he promised her he would get her a job in event management companies in Mumbai, and brought her to the city on Wednesday.
Khan was desperately contacting pimps who would help him fetch a good price for the girl. Through a tip-off, this news reached the Social Service branch of Mumbai Police. Cops got Khan’s number and, posing as interested buyers, started the conversation with him. The ‘deal’ was negotiated at Rs 3 lakh.
Police then asked to see the girl first before making the deal. At 9 pm on Thursday, Khan called them to Girgaum Chowpatty. He spoke to them and pointed out at the girl, who was standing at a distance. After some time, police, in plainclothes, then came with the cash and, as soon as Khan accepted the money, they apprehended him red-handed.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Enforcement) Pravin Patil said, “The accused Khan was here in Mumbai for the past two days, hunting for a prospective buyer for the girl. We became the buyer and arrested him red-handed when he was selling her. Khan has been charged under Section 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act. He has been handed over to the Gamdevi police for further investigations.”
The teen was completely unaware of the tragedy that almost befell her. When police made her hear their conversations with Khan, which they had recorded on their cellphones, she broke down and was inconsolable. The Child Welfare Commission will take the girl’s statement, after which she will be sent back home. Police believe the accused may have sold girls in a similar manner in the past, and are investigating the size of the prostitution racket.