Four underage girls from Tripura, aged between 14 and 17, who were brought to Chennai to be forced into the flesh trade, were rescued by the police. The main defendant, Chalema Khatun, was arrested while a hunt was underway to find the fleeing suspects.
An FIR has also been filed against four people in the case. Four police officers attached to the Kelambakkam police station were also transferred for dereliction of duty, as reported by the New Indian Express.
Chalema Khatun belongs to Sunamukhi village in Tripura. She and her husband, Anwar Hussain, brought the children to Chennai under the guise of getting them jobs in a massage parlor and a hospital.
Upon their arrival on January 17, the minors were housed in a rented house in Padur and forced into prostitution.
Alauddin, Moinudeen and Alamgir Hussain, who are associates of Chalema, sexually assaulted the girls and even filmed them. Then they blackmailed them and forced them into prostitution.
Until January 26, they were taken to different places at night and forced into prostitution.
N Lalitha, a member of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), who spoke to the girls, said: “The girls were repeatedly beaten, tortured and raped by the accused. Each girl was then sent to six men each day between 7 p.m. and early morning. They were forced to generate Rs 50,000.”
COPS TAKE A BRIBE
According to the FIR, the police control room had obtained information on Republic Day, January 26, about the flesh trade and the police in Kelambakkam were alerted. Four police officers attended the scene and allowed the accused to leave after accepting a bribe instead of rescuing the victims.
ESCAPE FROM THE FLOWER BAZAAR
When the gang were alerted that the police were hunting them, they moved the girls to a lodge in Flower Bazaar and planned to move to Bangalore the next day. But, one of the girls managed to escape and alert the police during the Republic Day patrol.
Flower Bazaar police rushed to the lodge and rescued the four victims. The girls were sent to a home and received treatment and counselling. Khatun was arrested while a hunt was underway for the other fugitive suspects.
Tambaram Police Commissioner M Ravi transferred a chief constable and three constables from Kelambakkam Police Station saying they had failed in their duty and failed to rescue the girls despite the information obtained by the police control room on Wednesday.
An FIR has been registered under the sections relating to the POCSO Act, the Computer (Invasion of Privacy) Act, the JJ Act and the Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act.
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