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Law caught her after pushing 3,000 Indian & Bangladeshi girls into sex trade

Maimuna aka Salma in police custody. Firstpost
Maimuna aka Salma in police custody. Firstpost
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Almost 50-year-old Maimuna, also known as Salma, has reportedly trafficked 3,000 young women in her 20 years as a prostitute.

The police said that she like to hunt in West Bengal and her home state of Andhra Pradesh.

She was detained on Tuesday after being forcibly forced into prostitution in Delhi’s infamous red-light district on GB Road. However, not before becoming one of the main players in the smuggling and sex trafficking industries.

She is the owner and madam of the 70th Kotha (brothel) on GB Road. Salma had been employed for a considerable amount of time as the madam and manager of Kotha number 56 prior to purchasing number 70, according to the police and non-profits that finally putting an end to her dark empire last Tuesday.

Salma had been on the radar of non-profits engaged in rescuing women from traffickers and police for long.

Walls of justice close in on Salma

“We had been following Salma for quite some time. We had, on multiple occasions, received complaints about she being one of the biggest hubs of trafficking unsuspecting girls, mostly minors, from across India, especially West Bengal, and forcing them into prostitution. As far as we can extrapolate from her prolific trafficking system, we suspect she might have pushed close to 3000 young girls and women into prostitution in her 20 year career,” Virendra Singh, director of Mission Mukti Foundation told Firstpost.

The foundation was part of the police raid during which Salma was nabbed. In fact, the police had requested the foundation’s help in rescuing a victim that was able to identify Salma, hence the arrest.

“We suspect she might be connected to sex trafficking gangs across the Bangladesh border,” Singh added.

Hell of a coincidence!

July 26 last year, Farida (name changed), 19, set out from her parents’ place in Balbalia village under Baruipur Police Station limits in South-24 Paragana for her in-laws’ house, but did not reach. She was with her 4-year-old son.

Her brother lodged a complaint with the police.

“My sister (missing since July 26, 2023) was spotted by a relative at Delhi’s GB Road on Aug. 25, 2023,” the brother wrote in the police complaint, requesting that his sister be rescued. Farida’s relative Billu (name changed to avoid identification of the victim) had had a glimpse of her in Delhi and based on his testimony the complaint was converted into FIR on Sept. 05, 2023.

End of Ordeal

Farida was rotting in the hellhole of Kotha number 70 when her relative Billu, with a big stroke of luck, saw her. Her 4-year-old kid was lodged in a local child welfare committee (CWC) care home.

Upon conversion of missing person complaint into FIR, the Baruipur Police contacted Virender Singh of Mission Mukti Foundation, asking for help in locating and rescuing the woman.

On October 30, 2023, Baruipur Police wrote to Singh: “Kindly provide necessary assistance to recover the victim… along with her son… who had been kidnapped by anyone and it is supposed was taken outside state. During investigation of this case as per statement of the complainant, it came to be learnt that one month ago Billu (name changed), who is a relative of the complainant, found the said victim lady at GB Road, Kotha no 70, 2nd Floor, Left Side, Delhi. I kindly request your cooperation in the efforts to locate and recover the missing lady and her son…”

Singh swung into action along with another non-profit Rescue Foundation. “We sent decoys and did recce of the place twice, but could not find the victim. Then, one day our spotter did see the woman and we told the police about it. Nov. 24, a joint team of Delhi Police, West Bengal Police, along with our representatives raided the brothel and rescued the victim,” Singh told Firstpost.

The woman was taken back home, but only after a lot of convincing, her shame becoming the biggest obstacle in her reunion with family. We shall come to that later.

The victim’s statement was recorded under Section 164, but she did not say much the first time, said police sources. It was the second attempt at the statement that the victim opened up and gave the details of her abduction and sale to Salma.

“The case was then handed over to CID, West Bengal,” Singh said.

WB Police asks for help again; Salma located & arrested

Since a prima facie case of abduction had been established, the CID slapped more charges in the FIR against Salma. A woman sub-inspector of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) of the police wrote to Singh for further assistance in nabbing Salma.

“… I want to hold raid… Hence, I pray necessary assistance may kindly be provided in this regard,” she wrote to the Mission Mukti Foundation.

“Our informants and spotters were hot on trail of Salma and they pinned down her location to Kotha number 70 last Tuesday. We informed the Delhi Police. We joined an operation of AHTU-West Bengal CID and Delhi Police and nabbed her in raid,” Singh told Firstpost.

Salma’s rapsheet

She is the owner of Kotha (brothel) number 70 on GB Road. According to police and non-profits she had long worked as the madam and manager of Kotha number 56 before buying number 70 in 2015-16.

According to Singh, Salma was the ‘nayika’ or manager of the kotha run by the notorious Afaq Hussain and his wife Saira Begum, who were arrested for trafficking thousands of girls and kids as part of an elaborate sex trafficking racket they ran from GB Road.

The duo used to bring girls from all across India, including West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, as also from across the Nepal border. In a tell-tale fashion they were brought to Delhi on the pretext of jobs, marriage etc and pushed into prostitution. The victims also gave handsome cuts to the couple from their income.

Salma, however, according to Singh, stole a large amount of money from the couple after they were arrested and went absconding. After cooling her heels for a couple of years, Salma came out from hiding and bought Kotha number 70, from where she started her own murky empire.

Victims are loathe to return home

Ashamed of having joined prostitution, however unwillingly and forcibly, hapless victims hesitant to go back home.

After being rescued, Singh interviewed Farida. She did not even know how much she was sold for. With a heavy voice, she told Singh: “I get to see my son, may be, once a month. I was duped because they told me I will work as a maid in a house and will be paid well.”

Once Singh connected her with her father on a video call, Farida broke down into cries of “I want to come home”.

She is back with her family in West Bengal and is being counselled by a local NGO.

Mzaad
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Daily Dazzling Dawn is the first and only international and non-profitable newspaper, which is 100% ownership of professional journalists from Bangladeshi origin with 20 years of experience in global journalism. The main aim of the newspaper is promoting ethical journalism with truth, accuracy and proficiency.

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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