Updated: March 7, 2021 2:39:42 pm
It was with a sigh of relief that 21-year-old Gaurav (name changed), who is from 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, boarded a train at the Pune railway station on Saturday along with his 45-year-old mother, who was allegedly dragged into a prostitution racket in Pune in 2019.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Gaurav said his mother worked as a domestic help in Kolkata. He said a person brought his mother to Pune with the promise of a better job in 2019. But after coming to Pune, she was allegedly forced into the prostitution racket operating from a red light area in Budhwar Peth.
On a request made by his mother, a customer who visited the red light area called her family over mobile phone. “The customer told me about my mother’s location… Then we contacted the Pune City Police with the help of social activists from West Bengal and Pune,” he said.
A team of Pune City Police Crime Branch’s Social Security Cell, led by Inspector Vaishali Chandgude, raided the brothel at a building in Budhwar Peth on September 18, 2020, and rescued two women, including Gaurav’s mother, from the sex racket.
Police have arrested the two women who operated the brothel and also booked four more persons, including the racketeers who “sold” Gaurav’s mother into the sex racket in Pune.
An offence in this case was lodged at the Faraskhana police station under sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act.
Gaurav’s mother was then kept at the government observation home in Pune. Gaurav said he came to Pune around November 2020 to take his mother back. He sought help from activists Jaywant Jadhav, Rahul Bangonde, Sanjay Paralikar, Dinesh Jadhav and Hemadri Kundu for completing the legal formalities.
He moved court, through lawyers Pushkar Durge and Tejlaxmi Dhopaokar, to seek his mother’s custody. “It took about three months to complete the legal procedure and on March 2, Judicial Magistrate First Class R K Baphana passed an order that the victim’s custody be given to her son (Gaurav),” said advocate Dhopaokar.
The order directed the investigation officer of the case and the superintendent of the observation home in Mundhwa to take an undertaking from the woman and her son that they shall remain present in court when the trial begins, and as and when required by the court.
“I am happy that I am finally going back with my mother,” said Gaurav.
His mother said, “It was a difficult phase of my life. I hope the culprits are punished by the court.”
She said her husband passed away a long time ago and her son works in Kolkata to earn a livelihood.
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