On 16th August 2022,   we got a lead about a minor forced into prostitution in a brothel in Moradabad, UP. We quickly assembled a team and left for Moradabad. On 18th August, we verified the lead after reaching the location. 

The next morning, we met the Superintendent of Police, SP, Crime Branch and presented him with the evidence.  He connected us with a member of the Civil Lines police station. That officer we were to meet was busy with another meeting so we went to meet the Superintendent of Police in Moradabad. He too was not available and his assistant wasn’t able to tell us when he would be back in office so we went back to the Crime Branch.

On reaching the SP’s office Crime Branch,, we met a member of Childline (government agency) who started asking us about the minor we were tracking. The SP, wasn’t too happy to know that a government agency who was working specifically for women and children had no leads or information about the minor and were seeking our assistance for the same. 

After meeting the SP, Crime Branch, we called the Civil Lines police station.  The officer we wanted to meet earlier had returned and asked us to come to his office.  We reached his office and met with him and the Anti Human Trafficking Unit.  We started to discuss rescue strategies. He asked us to connect with the local police for the rescue. Since we had problems with the local police on previous rescue attempts (anonymous tips to the brothel minutes before a rescue leading to a locked brothel and a failed rescue,) we shared our reservations about involving them and requested the assistance of his team.  He agreed but the member of Childline refused to budge till we got the help of the local police. Not wanting to waste any more days or time, we went ahead with the team from the Civil Lines Police Station. 

On 20th August at 5:20 pm the police and our team raided the brothel and rescued the minor we were tracking. After checking a few rooms, we found another minor. The brothel keeper managed to escape during the raid.  The police arrested two customers.  The victims, the two accused, the police and our team proceeded to the police station to file the First Information Report.

We were greeted by the media as soon as we reached the police station.  They tried to click a picture of the victims but we shielded the victims from the media and made a quick dash into the station. 

For over two hours the police interrogated the customers. The victims were interviewed and shared their details; Mahi was 13 years old and from Bihar and Koki was 13 years old from Moradabad. Mahi was sold into prostitution when she was 9 years old and Koki when she was 10 years old.  

We accompanied Mahi and Koki to a One Stop Center after which we went back to the police station to complete all the legal procedures.  On 21st August at 1 am, the police completed the FIR.

Due to a number of delays and challenges, we were able to complete Mahi and Koki’s medical test on the 22 August and their statements were recorded in court only on 25th August. Both Mahi and Koki are safe in a shelter home in Moradabad.