The Telangana Police arrested eight alleged traffickers after they conducted a raid on a brothel in Yadagirigutta. The police found eleven minors, including girls as young as five, being raised by the accused, to be eventually pushed into commercial sexual exploitation. The minors were allegedly administered hormonal injections so they would mature faster.
Based on a tip-off, the local police and the SHE Team under the Rachakonda Commissionerate conducted the raid and arrested the accused.
The police also said that the alleged traffickers picked up minor orphan girls, kept them in the brothel and looked after their welfare until their teenage years, before pushing them into the trade.
“..the traffickers also got some hormonal injections and administered it to the children by one Dr Swamy, for early maturity and rapid growth of the physical features of the girls. For this, Dr Swamy took Rs 25,000 from the organisers of the racket,” the police said in a press note. The police also said that medical results were awaited to confirm the same.
Speaking to TNM, Bhongir DCP E Ramachandra Reddy said that the accused had been running the racket for over ten years.
“We are yet to establish when they began administering hormonal injections and picking up the minor girls. Presently, the doctor is absconding. He has been booked under the same sections as the other accused. We are also yet to find out which chemicals he was using,” he said.
The police said that the accused used to take advantage of families in poverty, and would procure the girl children from various places through mediators — identified as Krishna Shankar and Kamsani Yadagiri — by paying Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh for each girl. Some of these girls were allegedly made to join schools by the accused in order to procure certificates.
“The way the accused functioned was that they would make the minor join a school and lie that they were the parents of the child. They would pick schools which did not conduct thorough background checks or ask for birth certificates. Once they got it on the record of the school certificate that they were the minor's parents, they would attempt to get other fake certificates like Aadhaar card. So even when the police raided them, they claimed that the girls were their children and showed these invalid certificates," the DCP added.
The police said that some of the accused were repeat offenders who were caught in the past, and had been provided counselling. Five of the eight accused had also been booked under the Preventive Detention (PD) Act, but they did not mend their ways.
The accused have been identified as Kamsani Kalyani (25), Kamsani Anitha (30), Kamsani Susheela (60), Kamsani Narsimha (23), Kamsani Sruthi (25), Kamsani Saritha (50), Kamsani Vani (28) and Kamsani Vamshi (20). They were all residents of the Yadadri Bhongir district.
The rescued minors have been sent to a home by the police.
“After proper enquiry, PD Act will be initiated against all the accused persons, apart from closing their houses under provisions of Section 133 (Removal of Public Nuisance) under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC),” the police said.
Meanwhile, a case has been registered under Sections 366A (procuration of minor girl), 371(1)(v) (Habitual dealing in slaves), 376 (rape) read with 114 (abettor present when offence is committed), 372 (selling minor for purposes of prostitution), 373 (buying minor for purposes of prostitution), 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
The accused were also booked under Section 17 (Abetment) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act besides relevant sections of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA).
This comes in the backdrop of the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2018, which came up for discussion in the Lok Sabha, which is presently in its monsoon session. The Lok Sabha passed the Bill amid skepticism from stakeholders like sex workers and transgender rights activists.
There were also many flaws that were pointed out earlier, for example, the traffickers can travel between states easily, taking the children with them. However, the police cannot follow the culprit outside their jurisdiction without permission.