Life was never easy for Savita (name changed). Her father died when she was just eight, leaving her mother to take care of her and her younger brother.
While her mother continued struggling to make ends meet, tragedy struck and Savita was kidnapped in September 2006 by human traffickers from near her house in Mau, about 115 km from Varanasi. She was just 11 then.
Confined to a house in Mau, Savita was gang raped for several days. Each time she went through ‘hell’ as her tormentors recorded their criminal act on a mobile phone to make it into a film.
After a week, the kidnappers sold Savita to a notorious human trafficker Afzal Begum for Rs. 30,000 in Shivdaspur, Varanasi, infamous for its prostitution dens.
Here her agony was compounded several times. She was locked up and gang raped for months at a stretch and finally forced into prostitution.
Life became more troublesome for Savita the day she gave birth to a child, when she was 13 years and a few months old. Her torture increased since she was overlooked by clients because of her baby.
Meanwhile Guria, an NGO in Varanasi working against human trafficking, came to know about Savita’s ordeal and managed to rescue her in June 2008. Lateron, the NGO re-united her with her family in Mau.
Savita’s mother then approached senior officials of Mau to get Savita’s statement recorded, but to no avail. After a long battle, she managed to get an FIR lodged against Begum with the help of Guria.
Meanwhile, a short phase of happiness came in Savita’s life. She got married to a man who lived in Dohrighat area of Mau.
But this happiness was short-lived. Begum and her pimps traced Savita’s location in July 2011. They took Savita’s mother-in-law and husband into confidence and gave them money to force her to withdraw the case against Begum.
Now, once again Savita’s trauma began. This time at her in-laws house, where she was beaten black and blue, so that she withdrew the case against Begum.
Somehow Savita managed to inform her mother about her latest ordeal. However, the hapless mother was no match for human traffickers. Despite repeated pleas before senior cops, Savita’s mother was not able to rescue her from her in-laws.
Once again Guria came to her rescue and got her out of her in-law’s house in July 2011.
Finally, in November 2011, Begum was arrested and jailed due to the relentless efforts of the NGO. Meanwhile, pimps of Begum continued to threaten Savita and her mother demanding that she withdraw the case.
They again kidnapped Savita from near her house in January 2012 and took her to her in-laws house.
There she was raped by her husband and other pimps of Begum to pressurize her not to pursue the case.
She was forced to sign a ‘false’ affidavit giving her consent to withdraw the case against Begum. In February 2012, the pimps of Begum and Savita’s husband brought her to the Mau district court where she was made to file the ‘false’ affidavit before the judge.
However, Guria members and Savita’s mother reached the court. This gave her courage and she raised an alarm forcing her captors, including her husband, to run away leaving her behind.
“We then recorded a fresh statement of Savita before the judge at Mau district court and then lodged another FIR of kidnapping against Begum’s pimps at the Kotwali police station, Mau,” said Ajeet Singh, the man who runs Guria.
As of now Begum is out on bail while her pimps continue to threaten Savita and her mother, who are being provided moral and financially support by the NGO.