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Immoral trafficking: 10 years in jail for 2

Sikdar heard her story and informed fellow customs officer Anson Thomas who campaigns against human trafficking.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
January 28, 2016 12:07:50 am

A special women’s court sentenced two women to ten years’ imprisonment on Wednesday for trafficking a minor girl from Bengaluru to Mumbai for prostitution. The girl had escaped from confinement and was found by a customs officer in central Mumbai.
The accused, Mamta Raju (37) and Aasma Haiderali (33), who ran a brothel, were convicted under the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act.

The girl, who was 17 when she was brought to Mumbai by the convicts in 2012, had been forced to work as a prostitute at Jamana Mansion on Grant Road when the police conducted a raid at Simplex Building close by.

Fearing arrest, the convicts took the girl away and detained her in an Antop Hill building. According to the prosecution, the girl managed to escape from there one day and was on the road, crying, when one Tapaskumar Sikdar, who works in the customs department, spotted her.

Sikdar heard her story and informed fellow customs officer Anson Thomas who campaigns against human trafficking. Thomas helped her register a case with the police, who then raided Jamana Mansion and arrested Raju and Haiderali.

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“The evidence given by Sikdar and Thomas in court was very important. Though the defence claimed that there were cases against Thomas, it could not disprove the account given by the victim,” said Additional Public Prosecutor Kalpana Hire.

Thomas said, there were ‘many challenges’ but he was very happy with the conviction. However, Advocate Kunal Kamble, who represented the accused, said that there were many discrepancies in the evidence given in court by the victim, Sikdar and Thomas.

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