In October, Freedom Firm investigated Budge Budge and found 16-year-old, Tanisi engaged in prostitution. Budge Budge, a satellite town in West Bengal, around 19 kms away from the south of Kolkata is an industrial town with lots of manufacturing units surrounding it. Being an industrial town, employment opportunities are plenty and people from different districts and other backward places of South Bengal make their way to the dusty town seeking their fortunes.

Cousins Tanisi and Nadira rescued together

Rescued in the nick of time

On 2nd October, the previous day of the rescue, the team met to discuss rescue plans. The Superintendent of police formed a police team to initiate the rescue operation.

On 3rd October, the surveillance team kept an eye on the movements around the brothel and reported no suspicious movements. The rescue team along with police entered the area and quickly rescued Tanisi. As the police searched the area, Nadira, a 15-year-old was also rescued. 

Tanisi’s son with his grandmother, wondering where his mother is

Soon after, the police arrested the brothel keeper Reena Karmakar and pimp, Vicky Shaw. 

A criminal complaint was filed in the police station and the statements of the girls were recorded. They shared that they were trafficked by Vicky and Reena from Basanti in South 24 Parganas and were forced into prostitution. Tanisi shared that she is a mother of a 1½ year old son. The girls were taken for a medical examination after which they were sent to a remand home for safe custody.

After the girls were rescued, Freedom Firm social worker took their initial reports and escorted them to the private shelter home. They were produced before the CWC via video conferencing from the shelter home. A COVID test was done and the girls tested negative.

A maternal less mother

We later escorted them to meet the Magistrate to record their statements. Nadira’s mother and Tanisi’s father were present. Nadira’s mother came with a group of men and 4 to 5 defence advocates. The advocates threatened the police, the case worker from the shelter home and Freedom Firm staff.

When Nadira was taken inside to give her statement, the caseworker was called to stay during the hearing but Nadira’s mother mother continued to threaten the team and dropped names of several influential people. She coaxed Tanisi and her father to repeat what she was saying. But they chose to speak the truth. Tanisi’s father requested us to help his child. After the hearing, the survivors were sent to the shelter home. 

Drama following the rescue

Later the girls were taken for a medical test. When we got back to the home, the caseworker and the Superintendent of the home said that in the past two days, Nadira’s and Tanisi’s mother brought with them a few boys and created a raucous outside the home.

The girls are at a shelter home and we intend to keep them until they are 18. The case will be continued to be followed up by Freedom Firm in the coming days.