The Indian police have found a racket of sexual exploitation of women in their own backyard while investigating the gang rape and torture of a Bangladeshi woman in Bengaluru, the capital of India's southern Karnataka state.
The Hindu newspaper reported on Monday that seven Bangladeshi women and a five-year-old girl, believed to be the daughter of one of the women, were rescued during a recent raid in an area near Ramamurthy Nagar police station in Bengaluru.
“The rescued women told the police that they and hundreds of other women had been brought illegally into India from Bangladesh by traffickers,” the report said.
The Hindu said the arrest of Shobuj Sheik, the prime accused in the case of gang rape of the Bangladeshi woman, helped Indian police uncover the racket.
The women were allegedly trafficked to India by a gang and Shobuj was involved with it, the report added.
A senior Indian police official told The Hindu that the rescued women were among the hundreds of women who crossed the border illegally from Bangladesh to India a few months ago.
“They were assisted by one Rafiq Ashraful from Bangladesh who helped them evade the border security personnel. We believe he is part of the gang and operates from Bangladesh,” the official was quoted to have said.
“After entering India, the women were taken to Howrah in West Bengal and remained there for a few days, while the traffickers allegedly organised identity proof documents. They were then divided into small groups and sent to different cities,” the newspaper said citing the official.
“The traffickers had promised them good jobs, but once they arrived at a city they were forced into prostitution. In Bengaluru, Shobhu and the others would retain a major share of what the women earned,” the police officer reportedly said, adding that investigation is underway.
The report said the police recovered 46 sets of documents, including Aadhaar cards, for the women and the girl during the raid.
“We also found a certificate from an Ayurveda health centre in Kerala and driving licences,” the newspaper quoted a police officer as saying.