Freedom Firm has expanded its operations to include cities and towns neighbouring Nagpur. In late September 2014 we did preliminary investigations to assess the prevalence of child prostitution in Wani, a small town located approximately 130 km south of Nagpur in Maharashtra. Although Wani’s red-light area, located on the outskirts of the town, is not very large, our investigators estimate that there are around 50-60 commercial sex workers.

Two weeks ago, our investigators identified a minor girl in prostitution there. After securing police cooperation to rescue the girl, our interventions team started to make their way to the area along with the police. However  our  investigators who were already in the area observed uniformed police entering the area and telling the brothel keepers to leave the area as soon as possible. Not surprisingly, the girl also quickly vanished and we were unable to rescue her.

The next day, our team attempted to do the raid again but found that the girl was still missing. While they were trying to locate the girl, the brothels in the red-light area suddenly shut down and everyone left the area. A brothel keeper was overheard saying “the police are coming because of the Rajasthani girls”. In the previous week’s investigations, our target had mentioned that she had come from Nagpur. Nagpur girls are often originally from Rajasthan.

The girl has not been seen since and it is possible that she has been moved to another area. We will continue to search for her in the coming days.