A brothel inside a hotel

On 17th January late afternoon we got a lead about a minor girl being forced into prostitution at a hotel in the outskirts of Nagpur. After confirming the information, we met the Superintendent of Police in Rural Nagpur. We shared the information we had about the victim, Keona, the suspected minor. He agreed to provide a team for rescue and also connected us with the Anti Human Trafficking Unit, AHTU.  We got intel that the victim would only be at the brothel for two hours in the evening.  We had to work quickly but strategically as we had such a small window to work with and we did not want to lose Keona. 

The police assembled a team together and proceeded to the location.  Our team had reached the location of the hotel first and waited for the police to arrive. As soon as the police arrived, we discussed different strategies. 

At 6:30 pm the police raided the hotel.  The police arrested a 52 year old male and a 24 year old male from the hotel. We started checking all the rooms for Keona and finally found her on the first floor.  While we were checking other rooms, we found four other victims in different rooms. The trafficker, a woman who was approximately 50 years old and handling customers and another person who used to handle the transactions, managed to escape.

Panch witness consoling Keona
Police collecting information from 5 victims

 Even though the rescue happened at 6:30 in the evening, it took more than 12 hours for the panch (third party witness) to record her statement, the victims to share their statements and the police to complete their reports.  We waited outside the hotel throughout the procedure relieved that five victims were rescued.

At  7 am the victims, two accused, the AHTU  and our team proceeded to the nearest  police station. The Anti Human Trafficking Unit was very thorough in filing the First Information Report. Later that day all five victims were taken to court, while Keona’s statement was recorded in the judge’s chambers because she was a minor, the other four victims were produced in court. The judge passed the order that all girls should be placed in a shelter home temporarily and the two accused would remain in police custody till the police investigation was completed. 

We accompanied the victims for their first round of medical tests and then to the shelter home.

The highlight of this rescue was that in less than four hours of gathering intel, our minor victim and four other victims were rescued.