Five activists arrested for detaining, torturing alleged sex workers
Five women activists of three NGOs from Tura were taken into judicial custody for illegally confining and torturing twelve alleged sex workers in a house.
The victims were rescued by locals yesterday from the rented residence of an NGO activist Jaynie Ningring N. Sangma at Danakgre in the outskirt of Tura reports said. After a short skirmish, the locals took the girls out of the custody of the women and immediately handed them to Tura police.
Later, police arrested all the five accused NGO activists. The five arrested activists have been sent to ten-day judicial custody.
During police questioning, it was revealed that the girls had black and blue bottoms from the severe beatings. One of the victims was six-month pregnant.
The victims also told police that in the past eight days of captivity in the house they were made to wash latrines with their hands and also allegedly asked to clean rooms and kitchen wares during their stay at the house. The victims also confessed that they were picked up from their respective residence, in presence of their parents.
Out of twelve, five were picked up from Chasingre by the activists on Sunday, when they were returning from Williamnagar after attending a farewell party of their college. Interestingly, the arrested NGO activists maintained that they were helped by police to keep the girls at the house for counseling by a pastor.
The women activists also said some of the girls were even handed over to them by the police itself and what they did was only to try and counsel the girls in order to wean them away from prostitution.
West Garo Hills Superintendent of Police (SP) Mukesh Singh however denied any knowledge of the acts and said an investigation into the complete incident would take place.
'We had no knowledge of the incidents and our police team was not involved in any of the matter', Mr Singh said. On the torture of the girls by the activists, Mr Singh said police have taken up a suo moto case based on the statement of the twelve victims. 'The injuries are serious in nature according to medical report,' the SP said.
'The victims have bruise marks on their lower private parts, buttocks and legs. It is a serious violation of the law. We will take best legal recourse to give justice to the victims,' he added.
(Posted on 10-05-2014)