Woman held for pushing minor daughters into prostitution

Aurangabad: A 45-year-old woman from the city, who allegedly pushed two of her daughters aged 11 and 9 into prostitution, has been arrested along with her sister and a pimp from Mumbai. The police have rescued the two girls and are looking for their 14-year-old elder sister, who is missing.

The incident came to light when the Rajasthan police raided a brothel in Bundi district on June 22 and rescued the 11-year-old girl, who said she was from Aurangabad. The girl told the police that she was sold by her mother to a pimp in Mumbai, who sent her to the brothel in Bundi. Incidentally, the girl’s mother is a commercial sex worker, the police said.

The girl said her mother had first taken her to her aunt in Mumbai. There, with help from the aunt, her mother allegedly sold her to a woman pimp for Rs 2.5 lakh in May. After forcing the girl into prostitution for a few days, the pimp sold her to the brothel in Bundi, where she was again pushed into prostitution.

Based on her statement, the Rajasthan police summoned the mother and put her behind bars for selling off the minor girl. The woman is still in the custody of the Rajasthan police.

However, it was the girl’s statement that her younger sister, aged nine, might have met the same fate as her that got the Rajasthan police into probing further. They contacted the shelter home in Aurangabad where the girls were earlier housed as well as the Aurangabad city police. Sources said the mother was not ready reveal the whereabouts of the nine-year-old.

When the Aurangabad police contacted the shelter, which is run by an NGO, they were told that the woman had taken both her daughters from the home in April citing the ongoing vacations. The police launched a search for the girl, but were unsuccessful in tracing her.

On Monday, a man identified as Nitin Khodke alias Nitin Salve approached the shelter home seeking the transfer certificates of the two minor girls. The authorities at the shelter, who were aware of the city police’s efforts to trace the nine-year-old, alerted the police. The man was caught when he came to collect the certificates.

During interrogation, the man confessed that the nine-year-old was in his custody. The police rescued the girl from him and recorded her statement. The girl said she had been raped by the man and some of his customers.

Aurangabad police commissioner Amitesh Kumar said, “The offence is of a very serious nature and the probe will be supervised and monitored at the highest level. Based on the statement given by the nine-year-old girl, Nitin, the girl’s mother, her aunt and the Mumbai pimp have been booked.”

The woman and her accomplices have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for buying or disposing of any person as slave, selling minor for purposes of prostitution and rape.

They have also been booked under various sections of the The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Deputy police commissioner Rahul Shriram told TOI, “The girls’ mother is allegedly involved in prostitution and had kept her three daughters at the shelter. A few months ago, she had approached the shelter and taken the 14-year-old daughter. Since then, no one knows where the girl is.”