While the police and human rights activists strive to bring those exploiting women to book, according to NGO International Justice Mission, there is one brothel which continues to function despite being raided four times in the last six months.
A total of 22 girls have been rescued in the four operations.
Refusing to divulge the exact location, activists of the NGO, stated that the brothel in Kamathipura is being run in an old building, with three other brothels on the same floor. All of them were raided at least once in the last six months. "The first rescue operation was conducted on January 21 this year," said Sylvia Castillano of International Justice Mission that assisted the police in their rescue efforts.
Despite the last raid on June 14, the brothels continue to thrive as the accused keep getting bail. "We cannot raid a brothel unless we have specific information. This is why we cannot raid the other three spots," said an official from VP Road police station, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
V Gadgil, police inspector, social service branch, said: "We cannot raid brothels unless we have intelligence and proof. However, we do conduct regular checks at these places."
After the raid, the brothels remain closed for approximately a month till the accused are released on bail. "Here lies the problem. Not only is it difficult to prove that illegal activities are being carried out, the rescued women fear the wrath of the brothel owners after they come out on bail," said Aaboo Varghese, head, anti-trafficking unit of Oasis, an NGO.
Contradicting the claims of the NGO, the police state that the brothel is shut at the moment, but little can be done to maintain status quo. "Once the owners are released on bail, we keep an eye on them. But, when convictions don't come through, they go back to running brothels," said Gadgil.