12,13 and 16 year old girls, decked up and waiting for customers (their pimps keep watch.)

On 21 February while we were investigating different areas in Ratalm, we came across three children who were being forced into prostitution.

Without wasting any time, we went to present the case to the Sub-Divisional Police Officer,  SDPO.  After listening to us he recommended we meet the newly appointed Superintendent of Police in Ratlam,  introduce Freedom Firm  as well as tell him about the case we are pursuing.  We had a good meeting with the SP. After the meeting we called the SDPO on his mobile phone.  He asked us to visit his office the next day so we could discuss the matter further.

On the 22nd and 23rd of February, a rescue mission was planned and discussed with different police personnel.

On 24th February, our team went to the SDOP’s office to finalise the plan.  Since the SDOP had a press conference in the morning,  we had to wait till he finished and was available for the raid. At 2 pm, we finally set out to the brothel where the three children were being sexually exploited.  

All the makeup in the world cannot hide this 13 year old’s youth
They thought putting this 11 year old in a sari will make her look older

At 5:05 pm, the police raided the brothel and rescued three children along with another minor girl who also looked like she was being forced into prostitution.  The brothel keeper, a woman who appeared to be in her late thirties was also arrested.  The police bagged a box of condoms from the brothel as evidence.

After the police finished their initial report, the victims, the brothel keeper, police and our team proceeded to the police station.  All the documentation work was going smoothly till, the police mixed up our staff names and added the wrong staff’s name in the First Information Report.   We pointed the mistake out, the SDOP admitted his mistake  but refused to correct it. He then went ahead and uploaded the document in the portal after which he insisted our teammate sign the FIR.  Our teammate refused. Instead of just changing it to the correct name, the SDOP got angry at our teammate’s refusal.  He just couldn’t understand why our teammate was making such a fuss (for us it was a simple case of ethics,  why sign anything that was incorrect, even though it would make  our work easier?)  All the favour and praise that was lavished on Freedom Firm till that point for our dedication and commitment to rescue children and minors went up in smoke in under a few minutes.   Both the SDOP and the police inspector in charge were angry that our teammate would not sign the FIR.  The SDOP even told us not to come to his office for any help or documents in the future.  Since we were not able to make any headway with them, we left back to Ratlam FIRless after ensuring the girls were safe at a one stop center.

The next morning when we went to get a copy of the FIR from the police station, once again we had to face their ire for refusing to sign the FIR the previous night after which they refused to give us the document. 

We accompanied the four victims to court later that day. The magistrate ordered that the victims continue staying in the one stop center for a few more weeks.

It has been more than a month and we still haven’t received a copy of the FIR.  We are planning to file a litigation case against the Police for failure to follow legal procedures.   Thankfully the four victims are safe in a children’s home in Ratlam.