Mumbai

Four minor girls rescued from flesh trade in Vasai

Two, including owner of farmhouse, arrested

In a shocking incident, girls as young as 12 and 13 years old, who were allegedly forced into prostitution, were rescued in a raid by the anti human trafficking unit (AHTU) of the Palghar police on Monday evening.

According to officials, the raid was conducted on the basis of a tip-off provided by a local NGO named Rescue Foundation.

“We got a tip-off from the Rescue Foundation, which is based in Boisar, that four minor girls had been trafficked and were being forced into prostitution at the Dwarka farmhouse in Kalamb, Vasai. Our officers visited the farmhouse posing as customers and after the information was verified, we moved in and raided the place,” assistant police inspector Santosh Jadhav, in charge of the Palghar AHTU, said.

The key accused, Raj Jaiswal (32), is a resident of Nallasopara and claims to be working as a caterer.

The other accused, Dilip Kini (62), is the owner of the farmhouse and a resident of Kalamb. He was arrested as it was found that he made the rooms available despite knowing that the girls were minors and victims of trafficking.

“Preliminary investigations have established that one of the girls was trafficked from Thane while the other three were trafficked from Nallasopara. The girls are 12, 13, 17 and 20 years old and have been sent for rehabilitation to the Boisar rescue home,” Mr. Jadhav said.

The accused have been handed over to the Arnala police for further inquiries. “Police are seeking details regarding the trafficking, possibilities of other people being involved and information about the girls’ families,” Mr. Jadhav said.

The accused have been booked under relevant sections of the Protection Of Children against Sexual offences (POCSO) and the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA).

Officers said that the girls usually come from financially backward sections of the society and in some cases, the families of the girls willingly sell them into flesh trade rackets in exchange for large sums of money.

“Due to lack of education and lack of awareness about family planning, a lot of poor families have more than one girl child and are willing to give them away if it means getting enough money to make ends meet. There are also cases where middlemen who provide girls to brothels fool families of the girls into thinking that they are taking their daughters to big cities like Mumbai for better education. We are investigating the case with all possibilities in mind,” a senior officer with the Palghar police said.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 2:03:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/four-minor-girls-rescued-from-flesh-trade-in-vasai/article28139789.ece

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