Islampur, Feb. 4: A 15-year-old girl escaped from a red light area in Goalpokhar’s Panjipara today and sought help from local people to return home which is near Patna.
According to a source in the Panjipara police station in North Dinajpur, the girl told them that about a year ago a youth had lured her with the promise of a job of a domestic help and sold her off to a brothel in Purnea, Bihar.
She told the police that she had been bought to another brothel in Panjipara about six months ago. She has alleged that she was forced into prostitution and beaten up by those running the brothels if she refused. Panjipara is 20km from Islampur town.
The source said a few months ago a person who had visited the brothel had informed the police that a minor was being kept there and she wanted to be rescued.
“We tried to locate the girl several times but failed. Last night the girl managed to escape from the brothel with the help of a visitor and came to the bus stand at Panjipara. The visitor called the police outpost and sub-inspector Paran Mondal went to the bus stand and took her into safe custody,” said the police source.
She told the police that her father was a daily wage labourer and she studied in a school in her village. She had a younger brother and she wanted to supplement her family’s income. That is why she had wanted to work as a housemaid, she said.
The girl was produced before the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court here today.
Bikash Lama, the additional chief judicial magistrate directed the police to send her to Suryoday the home of the state’s social welfare department and to hand her over to her parents when they are contacted.
Subdivisional police officer of Islampur Subimal Pal, said the girl was handed over to the social welfare department’s home in Raiganj.
“We are making all efforts to contact her parents as soon as possible,” Pal said.
“Last year we rescued two minor girls, also from Bihar, from the red light area of Panjipara. The girl who ran away today told us that when the police visited the brothel once she was forced inside a bathroom and locked up. We raided the area thrice and returned empty-handed. The girl is lucky to have escaped. She was treated brutally and even denied basic medicines when she fell ill,” said a senior police officer.
According to a police source, the red light area is located one kilometre from NH31 that connects the rest of India with the northeastern states. Most of the visitors to the red light area are truck drivers, a source said.