On July 18, 2020, a rescue intervention conducted by the local police in Begusarai, Bihar with the support of JVI partners led to the rescue of two sex trafficking victims. Police authorities acted on confidential information that a man was operating a brothel and engaging in the trafficking of minor girls from neighboring districts and states for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.
As the team entered the brothel, they found 16 year old Sunita* being sexually abused by a customer. Female police officers escorted Sunita away and the customer was immediately apprehended. As the rescue team made its way through the area, they also found 28 year old Kavita* who requested to be removed from the brothel.
Police authorities then reached out to JVI for legal and aftercare assistance for the rescued survivors. By midnight, JVI lawyers were present at the police station assisting the officers in drafting a complaint which included legal charges against six accused persons including one customer. Sunita had been trafficked from her village in Sitamarhi five years earlier by a young man who coerced her. She was led to a railway station from which Pappu took her to Baliya, Uttar Pradesh, promising to get her a job. Once they reached Baliya, Sunita was sold to another man who forced her to do domestic work. Pappu returned a few days later, took Sunita and returned to Begusarai, Bihar. There, she was then forced into commercial sexual exploitation. All money paid by the customers was pocketed by Pappu. Sunita was starved and tortured if she refused to engage with customers. Like Sunita, Kavita was also trafficked and forced into commercial sexual exploitation by Pappu.
After the rescue, Sunita and Kavita received medical services and were tested for COVID-19. JVI staff ensured they were provided with food, clothes and aftercare services. While JVI’s legal team took charge of the case to ensure the perpetrators are held accountable for their actions, it also will work closely with both aftercare partners to create uniquely tailored rehabilitation plans as well as with government authorities to ensure access to available benefits.
Though Sunita and Kavita have endured much hardship, they have courageously come forward and shared their stories. Their statements in court will help build a strong case against Pappu to protect others from falling victim to his abuse.