Chandrapur, Maharashtra 
On the 14th of March, nine women and a young girl, approximately fourteen years old, were rescued during an operation led by Freedom Firm and local police in Chandrapur. The nine women are all over eighteen, but most of them were forced into prostitution while they were still minors. The young girl is two months pregnant and one of the women needs medical attention. A letter has been submitted to the police inspector to conduct age verification tests for the rescued women. They have been placed in a safe shelter home.

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
On the same day, 550 miles away,  a second Freedom Firm team and local police rescued two girls and three women. The brothel keeper and the owner were arrested along with four customers. The police were unwilling to recognize the rescued girls as victims rather than criminals and sent them to jail even though their ages were unverified. They presumed that one of the girls was over eighteen because she had a two-month-old daughter.

Our social workers informed the Senior Superintendent of Police about the situation. He informed the court accordingly and the girls will be transferred from jail to a shelter home. The case was transferred to a fast track court and our social workers will accompany the girls for their age verification tests. A home investigation will also be conducted in the girls’ villages to see if it is safe for them to return home.

The brothel keeper and the owner of the brothel have applied for bail but our advocate will be arguing for bail to be denied. With these interventions, Freedom Firm has rescued 613 girls since 2006. We celebrate this huge victory!

The rescue operation was covered by local media channels in Varanasi.