'Breaking News' rescues innocent girl from Pune Brothel

New Delhi, December 22, 2005: A distressed letter from Daamu (Name reconstructed) stating her pathetic condition in a Pune brothel and asking India TV to help her escape and return home, was immediately acted upon by India TV’s team. This undercover operation by the India TV Team on Tuesday, December 20 has finally helped release Daamu from the brothel along with 21 other girls.

India TV’s Breaking News telecast at 9 p.m. tonight showcased the entire rescue operation where the undercover team put their own lives at risk by exposing this brothel which led to a police raid and finally the rescue of an innocent girl.

India TV received a letter written in broken language from Daamu stating that she had traveled to Pune as a tourist with a friend and was sold to a brothel. Sold by her friend’s acquaintance, Daamu was forced to sell her body to anybody who could pay for it – be it a beggar or a rickshaw puller.

Her letter along with her photograph to India TV stated that she had tried to escape several times, but was severly beaten and tortured by the brothel owner. During police raids, Daamu and the other girls were locked in hidden almirahs where they could hardly breathe. Daamu said “raid hone se pehle aunty ko pata chal jaata hai aur wo hamme chuppa deti hai”.

India TV’s undercover reporter posing as a customer discovered Daamu in one of the brothels. In her telephone call to “Breaking News”, Daamu, confessed saying that she would be beaten on the thought of escape. Daamu further said that she is ill-treated, beaten and was kept in captivity. In this phone call Daamu confessed her pitiable state and pleaded repeatedly for freedom “Mujhe ghar jana hai….mujhe bacha lo”.

Dammu’s poor parents had been desperately trying to trace her, but had given up after not finding any clues on her whereabouts. They hardly had a chance as Daamu was held in such captivity, where she had not seen sunlight for the whole of last year.

India TV reporters realized that Daamus’ life would be in danger incase they tried to rescue her themselves, so they approached for help from the Pune Police. They contacted the Joint Commissioner Police, Pune - Mr. Prabhat Ranjan, who directed the team to Addl. Commissioner of Crime - Mr. Ashok Ghebra. After a process of prolonged formalities, the police finally agreed to conduct a raid. In this raid conducted along with India TV team, a total of 21 distressed girls were rescued and brought to the police station.

A visibly relieved Daamu, who was ware of the raid, had been waiting in anticipation for the raid team with her packed suitcase. Immediately after her rescue, India TV helped her contact her family members in Darjeeling. Daamu was retained in police custody for the night and will be released after certain formalities, to finally be united with her family.

During this entire operation, the India TV team found out that Pune, a city known for its education system, has become an open center for flesh trade and over 10,000 girls are caught in this notorious racket.

Dammu’s story is evident of the faith and trust India TV’s viewers have put forward in the channel. Viewers have entrusted the channel to responsibly take up issues pertaining to day-to-day lives.

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