Villa on the outside, brothel on the inside

On 15th September we got a lead from another NGO about 14 year old Zoya, a minor girl who was trafficked from Kolkata and brought to Nagpur for prostitution.  After going through all the information, we contacted the police in Kolkata.  After collecting more details from the police about Zoya,   we set out to find her.  Through one of our contacts, we were able to locate Zoya’s current location, a posh residential row house in Bramhapuri, Chandrapur in Maharashtra which was approximately a three hour drive  from where we were.  

On 16th September after collecting sufficient evidence about Zoya, we presented it to the Superintendent of Police in Chandrapur. After reviewing the evidence  he agreed to initiate a rescue the next day. 

Operation Zoya

At 2 pm on 17th September the police raided the brothel. The brothel keepers a young couple in their mid thirties was arrested. We found out that they were living on the ground floor with their two young children while they ran the first floor as a brothel.  We found Zoya with a customer in a room on the first floor. After evidence was collected, the police, victim, the accused and our team went to the police station where the police filed a First Information Report. The accused’s children who were also present during the raid, were sent to their grandparents house.

Zoya was produced before the Child Welfare Committee who passed an order that she be sent to a One Stop Center (a temporary shelter home for children and women in distress.) 

The next morning while we accompanied Zoya to the hospital for her medical tests, the accused was produced in Court where the judge ordered that they continue to remain in police custody till Friday, 23rd September.  

Zoya is still in the One Stop Centre, on Friday 23rd, the Child Welfare Committee will take a decision about Zoya’s future – released to her parents or moved to a shelter home in Maharashtra or Kolkata.