12 women, 7 from Bangladesh rescued: Police
The social security cell of the Pune police crime branch busted a sex racket operating from a plush apartment on Lane number 7 in upscale Koregaon Park late Monday evening, arrested five men allegedly running the racket and rescued 12 women. One of the rescued women is from Uzbekistan, seven are from Bangladesh, one is from Nepal and three are Indians, said police, who suspect it to be part of a larger inter-state racket.
The arrested suspects were identified as Ramdev Kharbu Yadav (37) of Hazaribag in Jharkhand, Ismail Kausar Shaikh (23) of Latur, Vyankatesh Vegannarao (38) of Andhra Pradesh, Yogesh Suresh Pawar (27) of Nagpur and Mahadev Musule (25) of Nanded. All of them were residing on third floor of E/3 apartment in Gold Field Plaza, Lane number 7 of Koregaon Park.
Acting on a tip-off from local MNS corporator Babu Wagaskar, a social security cell team led by inspector Bhanupratap Barge contacted one of the suspects through a decoy customer. Police said that after confirming that a sex trade racket was operating, a police team raided the Duplex Apartment and rescued the girls aged between 19 and 25 years.
The five arrested under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA) were produced before a magistrate on Tuesday afternoon. The court remanded the five suspects in police custody till January 31. Police believe the suspects are connected to a bigger inter-state racket. “Suspect Ismail Shaikh is a history-sheeter. We had earlier arrested him in a similar case. Investigation is on to know how these suspects hailing from different parts of the country came together for operating a brothel in Koregaon Park,” inspector Barge.
Meanwhile, investigation also revealed that the 21-year-old Uzbekistan girl was earlier arrested in a PITA case in Bangalore. She speaks fluent Hindi and so police suspect she has been staying in India for a long time. A search is on for the apartment owner. An offence has been registered at Koregaon Park police station.
Bangladeshi girl has Indian voter I-card
Police said they have found a voter I card issued in Kolkata in possession of one of the seven Bangladeshi girls rescued from the Koregaon Park apartment. Police said that most of these Bangladeshi girls had entered India about a year-and-a-half ago and stayed in Kolkata, Delhi and Pune.