The Mandi Gobindgarh police have arrested a Malerkotla resident, Sahjad Khan, for allegedly forcing a 21-year-old Ludhiana woman into prostitution. Two others of his family besides one more person have also been booked in the case.
The woman was allegedly held captive in a rented accommodation in the Kacha Dalip Nagar area of Mandi Gobindgarh by Sahjad Khan and his family. She was rescued by a team of the Mandi Gobindgarh police in first week of January when neighbours approached police after suspecting foul play, as the main gate of the house was found locked permanently even as the woman was inside.
The police rescued the woman after breaking the lock. She told police that she met Sahjad, who hailed from Malerkotla town of Sangrur district, on a train around 15 months ago. They developed close relations and Sahjad took her to his house on the promise of marrying her.
However, Sahjad and his family forced her into prostitution, the woman alleged. She accused Sahjad, his brother Salman Khan and mother Parveen of torturing her physically and mentally. On the statement of the victim, police have registered a case against two brothers and their mother under various sections of the Immoral Trafficking Act.
Role of some police officers has also come under cloud as the woman also named some police officers who used to visit her in the house at Mandi Gobindgarh. The victim, a school dropout, is daughter of a rickshaw puller.
As per the victim, she later came to know that her paramour was already married. She told police that she was married to a youth of a village near Jalandhar but later they divorced.
Fatehgarh Sahib senior superintendent of police HS Mann said police have arrested Sahjad Khan and are conducting raids to arrest other accused.