A 24-year-old woman, who was allegedly forced into prostitution by her relatives, was rescued from Bhiwandi on Saturday. The Bhiwandi police have registered a case of trafficking and are probing the woman’s claims that she was sexually assaulted by more than 30 people within 24 hours.
According to the police, the woman is married and hails from a village in West Bengal. In her statement to police, she said her relative, Seema Bala, asked her to come to Mumbai on the pretext of a job as house help for a monthly pay of Rs 10,000-12,000.
“On January 13, the woman was brought to the city by Bala and another relative Sanjay Ali,” said a police officer.
The woman alleged she lived at Ali’s house in Mulund for four days. “On Friday morning, Ali handed her over to a pimp Salman and his wife Leela Naik at Hanuman Tekdi, a red-light area in Bhiwandi. Ali took Rs 50,000 from Salman in return. In her statement, the woman has claimed that from Friday morning to Saturday, Salman got more than 30 customers for her,” said Pintu Shelar, a Shiv Sena worker from Bhiwandi, who helped rescue the woman.
On Saturday, Shelar saw around 25 people running after the woman near Hanuman Tekdi. “As the woman came closer, she pleaded for help. The group told me they had paid Rs 1 lakh for her. I then threatened them and took the woman to the Bhiwandi police station. She told police she managed to flee when they got her for a check-up to a local doctor for stomach pain,” said Shelar.
“We have registered a case against five people for trafficking. The woman underwent a medical test, the reports of which are awaited,” said NT Rode, senior inspector, Bhiwandi police station.