On 10th March we got a lead about Susheela, a 23 year old Bangladeshi forced victim  who was trafficked to Bhubaneshwar several months back.  We immediately booked our tickets to  Bhubaneshwar to locate Susheela. As soon as we arrived on 11th March, we left to meet the Commissioner of Police in Bhubaneswar. Since it was the 2nd Saturday of the month,  all the officers were on leave.   One of the police inspectors gave us the Director General of Police, DGP,  Crime Branch’s office number. There was no response from those quarters either. Seemed like they were on leave as well.

Through one of our police contacts, we discovered that Susheela was no  longer in Bhubaneshwar but had been shifted to a location in Odisha.  We left for Odisha the next day.

As soon as we arrived, we immediately met the Superintendent of Police, SP. Even though it was Sunday,  the SP met with us and then connected us to the crime branch.  We left for the crime branch.  Since it was Sunday the inspector we met at the crime branch wasn’t able to follow an angle that he wanted to pursue and asked us to come back the next day.

On Monday, 13th March,  we were back at the crime branch.  The police inspector had already pursued  his own angle and had two possible locations where Susheela was being held; one was 10 kms away and the other 50 kms away.

We investigated both the leads and discovered Susheela was at the second location.  The police decided to initiate a rescue in both locations, Susheela’s location first, if for some reason she wasn’t present at this location, they would raid the second location.

Operation Susheela

By 10:30 pm, the assigned police teams and our team were on the way to Susheela’s location. We reached the location at 11:15 pm and located Susheela at 11:30 pm. The police immediately raided the room where Susheela was being kept. They arrested the trafficker, a man in his 30s.  They seized both the trafficker’s and Susheela’s mobile phones and Susheela’s fake ID cards and documents.  The police then took both the accused and Susheela to the police station in separate vehicles so that the trafficker wouldn’t be able to influence Susheela. 

By 1:10 am on 14th March, the police completed their preliminary reports but did not file an First Information Report, FIR.We accompanied Susheela for her medical tests after which she was placed at a one stop centre.  Later that day we went to the police station and handed him an official letter from our team as instructed by the SP and the crime branch.  The letter stated that they had to file a FIR immediately.  The police inspector filed an FIR and the accused remained in police custody.  Susheela will continue living in the one stop centre till she is produced in court and the judge passes an order.