Tricked, sold to a pimp for Tk 20,000
After her father died, around two years ago, Rimu came to the capital from Jamalpur and started working at a readymade garment factory.
The woman, now 20, was then tricked into prostitution by an acquaintance.
As the coronavirus pandemic struck, Rimu became jobless and faced extreme financial hardship. Knowing about it, the female acquaintance offered her a job and took Rimu with her.
The woman then sold her to a pimp -- Nazma, 65, a former sex worker at Daulatdia brothel -- on April 23 last year in exchange for Tk 20,000, read a case statement recorded at Goalanda Police Station in Rajbari.
On Wednesday, Rimu called emergency helpline 999 from a customer's mobile phone and shared her experience.
On information, a police team, headed by Abdulla Al Tayebir, officer-in-charge of Goalanda Police Station, conducted an operation inside Daulatdia brothel and rescued 14 women, including Rimu. All of them are between 18 and 30.
All 14 of them were tricked into prostitution, the OC said.
They were lured with jobs and better salaries. They were locked inside dark rooms and warehouses of Nazma by her assistant Ananda and adopted daughter Jharna, he added.
A case was filed under the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act 2012 with Goalanda Police Station after the drive.
The plight of Rimu and other rescued women were recorded by police in the case statement.
Rimu said, "Nazma and Ananda forcibly locked me up at a dark room of the brothel. They beat me up mercilessly, every time I tried to escape.
"They used to play loud music inside the room so that no outsider could hear my screams."
The case statement also mentioned that she was not allowed to have enough food and see sunlight.
Another victim Nupur, 25, told police that she was sold off to the pimp for Tk 10,000.
Like Rimu, she was also beaten severely while trying to escape the room. Nupur was also allowed to have one meal a day, she said, adding, "I want to return home."
On Thursday, all 14 of the victims were produced before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in the district.
The court directed police to send them to a safe home run by Faridpur Social Welfare Department.
"We couldn't arrest Ananda and Jharna as they escaped after being informed about the raid. We are hoping to arrest them soon," he said.
Nazma was already in jail in connection with another case, the OC added.
"Since last January till today, we have rescued 21 girls and women from the brothel," the police official said.
"Of them, we have handed over seven girls and women to their family members," he added.
"We have already collected the contact details and addresses of their families and messaged the respective police stations to contact their family members. After the verification, they will be sent to their home," he further said.
Meanwhile, seeking anonymity, an official of the safe home, said one of the rescued women said she would commit suicide if she was again locked in a room of the safe house.
"The authorities have provided counselling and ensured them to reintegrate to their families," the official added.
[The victims' names have been changed to protect their identities.]