Monday, June 18, 2012
Shelter turns prison for rescued girls
Priya (name changed), 28, has been languishing in the government vigilance home in Mylapore for long, after being picked up by the anti-vice police thanks to the Alandur court adjourning her case 50 times in the last 36 months.
When her petition seeking release was brought before him at the Madras high court on Friday, Justice S. Nagamuthu was visibly moved hearing her miserable tale.
Faulting the police and lower court for treating the case in an insensitive and mechanical fashion, the kind judge posted the case for orders on Tuesday, according to Priya’s lawyer M. Hussain Basha.
Not just Priya, many inmates of the vigilance home, ‘rescued’ from various brothel homes in the city for rehabilitation, are not provided proper legal assistance and so their release gets inordinately delayed.
A job agent brought Priya from her native Andhra Pradesh to Chennai in 2010 after her husband deserted her. But she was pushed into the flesh trade.
Though the accused broker got bail immediately, Priya remained at the home. She was not even allowed to perform the last rites for her father who died last year, said a source close to her.
The source added that Priya’s husband re-married in his native town and kept her son — now six years old — with him.
Ruba, another victim from Assam, was promised a job in a Chennai beauty parlour. “But the agents forced her to work in a massage parlour and she ended up in custody after a police raid.
“Language being a barrier, Ruba couldn’t explain her woes in the lower court properly. She wants to go back to her family but has been kept in the home for over a year,” another source said.
NGO Just Trust director G. Jebaraj said as per the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act, trafficked women should be released from the home within 21 days. “But many victims are kept in custody in serious violation of the laws,” he said.
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