Woman Taking 2 Minor Sikkim Girls to Pune for Prostitution Arrested and Minors Rescued from Train
Social media played a key role in detecting a human trafficking case and the subsequent rescue of two minor girls who were being taken from Sikkim to Pune. Swift messaging on twitter alerted the railway authorities and led to the arrest of a 26-year-old woman from Sikkim who was about to push these minors into a prostitution racket she operated in Pune.
The two teenage girls a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old, both residents of a village in south Sikkim, had gone missing from their homes on July 11, and a missing complaint was lodged with the local police. The accused, also a resident of the area, allegedly befriended them and on the pretext of showing them around Pune and giving them a job in a `big city', made them run away from their homes. On Friday, the three boarded the 12120 Howrah-Pune Azad Hind Express from Howrah, but before boarding, the girls had apparently confided and even asked another one of their friends to accompany them on their big journey. This is what led to their rescue. The friend informed the family and on Saturday, a relative of one of the two girls, Binay Gazmer took to twitter and informed the Railway ministry about the girls' possible location.
The ministry informed the respective divisional railway managers of Bhusawal, Pune, Nagpur, Secunderabad, Raipur, Bilaspur all railway divisions on the train's route. The RPF teams along the route were also alerted. By the time, the information was relayed, the Azad Hind Express had passed Bhusawal and was headed for the next halt at Jalgaon.
The RPF Bhusawal team relayed the information to RPF Jalgaon who passed it on to Sub Inspector KB Singh. Singh accessed the rail information system to trace the location of the train, and as soon as the train stopped at Jalgaon, he and his team carried out a search. They found the three women in the rear coach of the general compartment. Since the RPF Jalgaon did not have women constables, the girls and the accused were handed over to RPF Bhusawal.
"Initially, the 26-year-old woman said she ran a clothes business in Pune, and she was taking the teenage girls to work at the clothes shop. After sustained interrogation separately, the woman confessed that she was into prostitution and she was taking the girls to engage them in the same profession under the pretext of giving them employment in Pune," said Inspector RPF, Bhusawal Vinod Langiwar.
Langiwar said the woman, though from Sikkim, had a house in Vasant Kunj in South West Delhi and one in Shanti Nagar in Pune. "It appeared that she had a nation-wide network. We have informed the Sikkim Police, and the girls' families are on the way to Bhusawal to take their custody. The girls have been sent to Mahila Kalyan Kendra till their families reach here," Langiwar said.
When contacted, Central Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Sunil Udaasi said, "As soon as we got information, we alerted the RPF Chief Security Commissioner. They alerted Bhusawal division and finally they succeeded in arresting them in Jalgaon around 10 pm on Saturday night. We are waiting for the girls' family to reach here so we can hand over them over safely."
By Kamal Mishra, Mumbai Mirror