Hyderabad: Telangana police have raided brothels guarded by dogs in Telangana. At least 35 people were arrested on charges of sex trafficking girls as young as 13, investigators revealed on Monday.
30 women and girls were rescued in the overnight raids on March 1st and 2nd in Medak district, in what police described as a "breakthrough" in cracking sex trafficking networks guarded by dogs.
According to the details available, these brothels were guarded by big dogs, including Great Danes and Dobermans, making access very difficult to the people. "It took us two months to set up the operations as the brothel keepers had hired young boys to patrol the neighbourhood on bikes and tip them off on police raids", said Soumya Mishra of the Telangana criminal investigations department.
Of an estimated 20 million sex workers in India, 16 million women and girls are victims of sex trafficking, according to non-governmental organisations working in the country. In Telangana alone, over 500 cases of sex trafficking were registered between 2015 and 2016, and nearly 600 traffickers arrested.
Last week's raids have raised concerns over the number of young girls from poor economic backgrounds and broken homes being trapped in the trade. The illegal brothels were being run from 35 houses in the Japthi Shivnoor village, with the owners living on the premises, and the trafficked women housed in cramped rooms and forced to take on up to 10 clients a day.
During the raids, we found a number of unused condoms hidden in rice sacks, and also seized over Rs 4,00,000 ($6,000) in cash. If we hadn't raided the brothels, one of the girls, who was very sick when we found her, would have died, said Soumya Mishra.Courtesy: Thomson Reuters Foundation