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Flesh trade: Gang on the run, police in dock
A 14-year-old girl who approached a police patrol team in Flower Bazaar brought to light a disturbing case of flesh trade involving minors by a gang of four led by a woman, who were allegedly caught by four police personnel after receiving an alert from the control room but allowed the accused to go after taking money.
A 14-year-old girl who approached a police patrol team in Flower Bazaar brought to light a disturbing case of flesh trade involving minors by a gang of four led by a woman, who were allegedly caught by four police personnel after receiving an alert from the control room but allowed the accused to go after taking money. Now, the girls from Tripura have been rescued, gang members are on the run and personnel involved were transferred and may face stricter action after an internal inquiry is over.
The main accused, Chalema Khatun (38) of Sivajala, Tripura, reportedly brought the minor girls aged 17, 16, 15 and 14, the youngest did not even attain puberty, from Tripura on the promise of work in massage parlours. But after reaching here on January 17, they were lodged in a rented house in Padur.
Chalema’s associates - Alauddin, Moinudeen and Alamgir Hussain – allegedly sexually assaulted the girls and filmed it so as to threaten them to 'behave' with the customers, said sources. Till January 26, they were taken to different locations at night, despite the curfew, and forced into flesh trade in the customers' places. The police control room received a tip off on January 26 about the racket and alerted Kelambakkam police station. A head constable and three constables reportedly visited the spot but instead of arresting the gang and rescuing the girls, they took money and let the accused to take the girls away.
Later that day, the accused brought the girls to city and made them stay in a lodge in Flower Bazaar. The plan was to travel to Bengaluru by train on January 27. However, the 14-year-old managed to escape from the lodge at night and approached police personnel on patrol for help. Immediately, a police team rushed to the lodge and rescued the other three girls. However, the accused were not at the lodge and are on the run. After the victims were sent to a home, Child Welfare Committee members conducted inquiries with them and lodged a complaint with Flower Bazaar police who are hunting for the suspects.
Meanwhile, Tambaram Police Commissioner M Ravi transferred the four police personnel from Kelambakkam. The Commissioner said an inquiry is under way about their involvement in the case, after which stricter action would be initiated if they are found guilty.