On 9 September, our partner in Kolkata, Justice Ventures International, JVI,  requested us to verify the presence of minors engaged in prostitution in Happy Land Park and Resorts in the outskirts of Kolkata. Later that day, Freedom Firm investigators and operatives locate Pooja (name changed,) a 17 year old along with three other minors. The team file a written complaint to the Commissioner of Police in that area. Here are the events that transpired.

21st September

Eleven days after first locating the minors, Freedom Firm and JVI get on a call and a rescue plan is discussed.

22nd September

The team decide to rescue Pooja.  They meet the police team who had earlier promised support. That police team is not available and another police team is prepped for the rescue. The police, JVI, and Freedom Firm teams run through the plan one last time before the raid.

15 minutes later

All teams arrive at the location. The park is filled with young couples. Once they spot the teams, they panic and run helter skelter, breaking park fences and diving into neighbouring paddy fields. 16 couples are rounded up by the police. Those who have park tickets are released.

Five extremely frightened minors

When the team enters the resort, many girls start to cry. One of the girls has bought a cake and is celebrating her birthday with her date, a regular customer. The customers are men between 35-60 years, two are college students.

Were those few moments of pleasure worth it?

Pooja along with the other four minors and eight women are rescued. Seven resort staff are arrested. The pimp along with the resort owners are nowhere to be found.

Don’t worry you’ll are safe now

17:10

All teams along with the victims and accused leave the resort. Freedom Firm social workers accompany the girls to the police station and then later to a shelter home. The accused are taken to the police station where a complaint is lodged against them and they are taken into judicial custody.
We can only hope that this rescue serves as a reminder to people who are sexually exploiting women and children for commercial gain, you will be caught and you will be punished.   To support our work click here