Mumbai

Police rescue woman raped, sold into prostitution by friend

Pimp, woman running brothel in Kamathipura arrested

The Nagpada police have rescued a 30-year-old woman from West Bengal who was allegedly tricked into coming to Mumbai earlier this year, raped repeatedly and sold to a brothel in Kamathipura. The woman was rescued after she managed to get her hands on a cell phone and call her mother, who alerted the police.

According to the Nagpada police, the woman, who lived with her parents in West Bengal, was rescued on Saturday evening. “The victim, in her complaint, has said that in March she befriended Pankaj Mandal, who worked at a medical store in her native place. She was unwell at the time and had to make constant trips to the store, which is how they got to know each other,” an officer said.

The officer said Mr. Mandal took the victim to Howrah bridge in August and offered her a soft drink, which made her groggy. When she regained consciousness, she found herself seated in an outstation train beside Mr. Mandal. The officer said, “Mr. Mandal told her that they had boarded a wrong train and would take the right one soon. Instead, he brought her to Mumbai and took her to a house in Mankhurd, where he held her captive for two days. She has said during this time, she was sexually assaulted by Mr. Mandal as well as another man whom she did not know. On the third day, Mr. Mandal handed her over to a pimp, identified as Aziz Sheikh, who in turn handed her over to Rekha Jampan, who runs a brothel in Kamathipura.”

After spending three months in captivity, the victim, in the last week of November, managed to procure a cell phone with the help of another woman working at the brothel, who smuggled it in for her. She called her mother and narrated her ordeal, and her mother rushed to Mumbai. The victim’s mother then got in touch with a local social worker, who helped her contact the Nagpada police. Using technical and human intelligence, the police on Saturday raided the brothel and rescued the victim.

Confirming the operation, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Tardeo division) Vinay Gadgil said, “We have rescued the victim as per due procedure and arrested the pimp as well as the woman who was running the brothel. Further inquiries into the matter are under way.” The police are now working in collaboration with the West Bengal police to trace and apprehend Mr. Mandal and his friend who allegedly sexually assaulted the victim. Investigating officers believe that the crime might have been pre-planned as Mr. Mandal had a place ready to hold the victim captive when he brought her to Mumbai in August.

The police have registered a case of rape, criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement under the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA) against the accused, officers said.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 9:19:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/police-rescue-woman-raped-sold-into-prostitution-by-friend/article30143525.ece

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