The 16 women who fled from a rescue home in Chembur late Saturday night had been planning their escape for more than a week ago, police have found out. Moreover, one of the inmates who did not want to escape had reportedly informed a caretaker of the home about her fellow inmates’ plans to flee, police added.
On July 2, the 16 women, who had been rehabilitated at the Kasturba Mahila Vastigruha after being rescued from bars and spas that had been raided on charges of immoral trafficking by at least four different police teams, escaped by breaking a toilet window on the ground floor.
According to police, the women’s escape came to light when the 17th woman was attempting to flee but was caught red-handed by officials of the rescue home, who later took her to Chembur police station.
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“The night they escaped, the electricity of the facility suddenly went off for about 30 minutes. The power came back around 7.10 pm. We believe that the women broke open the window, that they had been loosening up for more than a week, during the blackout. The women used a bucket to climb on and slip out through the broken window in the wall,” said Sunil Shinde, sub-inspector, Chembur police.
Shinde said the women, under the pretext of washing their plates after dinner, sneaked in to the toilet one after the another and had escaped.
Another inmate of the facility, police said, who was rescued by the Rabale police, had told one of the caretakers that a few women were planning to break out. “Officials at the rescue home did not pay heed to the warning. We are also inquiring with them about the official measures they took to prevent such an escape,” Shinde said.
Ashok Dudhe, Mumbai police spokesperson said the women who have escaped have been booked for obstruction to lawful apprehension under The Indian Penal Code. However, not one of them have been traced as of yet. “The police stations that had brought the women have been alerted and we have requested to visit the women’s home,” Shinde added.