As the local police along with Special Operations Team raided six brothels in Yadagirigutta, the temple town’s ugly prostitution underbelly came to the fore.
Eleven minor girls, including girls as young as five were rescued by the police from sex traffickers on July 29 from Ganeshnagar area of Yadagirigutta town located in Telangana’s Yadadri Bhongir district. The horrors of the case did not end here as the police raid also discovered that the girls were administered growth hormones by a registered doctor to help attain puberty faster.
The horrors of Yadagirigutta flesh trade
According to Hindustan Times, Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat said that after a tip-off from a resident who heard the cries of a girl, the police raided the house of one of the accused, Kamsani Kalyani, where they found two girls. As reported by Firstpost, the two girls were found dressed in school uniforms. While one of the two girls was Kalyani’s daughter, the other girl, police said was bought from sex traffickers. After this, based on the information given by Kalyani, police raided five other brothels from the area and a total of 11 girls including four seven-year-olds were rescued. The sex traffickers, two men and six women, who have since then been arrested, used to send the girls to private schools to steer clear of suspicions.
The commissioner said, “They were kept in confinement and the accused were running the flesh trade for around four years. After proper inquiry, PD Act will be initiated against all the accused persons, apart from closing their houses.”
Reportedly, the police have said that to push the girls into the business of flesh trade faster, the children were injected with growth hormones which were administered by one Dr Swamy, who also charged the traffickers Rs 25,000 for each injection. Not only that but the children were kept in confinement, denied access to proper food and even tortured if they failed to bow down to their demands.
Girls were purchased for Rs 1 to 2 lakh
Reportedly, all the eight who have been arrested are members of the Dommara Community and residents of Yadadri Bhongir district. Sunitha Krishnan co-founder of NGO Prajwala told the Firstpost, “It is not uncommon for extremely young children to be pushed into prostitution. The youngest I have rescued was three years old.”
Nine out of the 11 girls who were rescued did not belong to the community, and police investigations have revealed that some of the girls were purchased from agents for Rs 1 to 2 lakh each while others, belonged to families with lower economic status were picked up from railway stations and other public places.
The police have registered a case 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.
While the children have been sent to a Child Welfare Committee-monitored rescue home, Police Commissioner Bhagawat told The Hindustan Times, “They 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).”
The problem of the sex trade is rampant in India, and the data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau’s data shows the magnitude of trafficking in the country. 2016’s data shows that 15,379 victims were trafficked out of which 58% were below the age of 18. The atrocity against children and women who are victims of trafficking is unnerving.