24-yr-old caught selling new bride to brothel keeper


Mumbai An unsuspecting woman on the verge of being thrust head-long into a life of prostitution found unexpected and unlikely saviours in the form of Commercial Sex Workers (CSW) in Mumbai’s oldest red-light area, Kamathipura. Their presence of mind and compassion resulted in the arrest of a human trafficker, who was trying to sell off his new bride to a brothel owner. According to police reports, the accused Lalan Akram Shaikh (24) had married a woman from his native village Murshidabad, situated in the Indo-Bangla border, two months back. When the CSWs chanced upon him, he was allegedly negotiating with a brothel keeper in Kamathipura, with the intention of selling the woman into the flesh trade.

“The marriage took place just two months back. Shaikh lied to his wife’s family that he was a worker in a jewellery shop in Mumbai, so he could bring her here,” said Sanjay Kadam, senior inspector, Nagpada police station, adding, “He claimed that he drew a monthly salary of Rs. 12,000, and was expecting a promotion soon.” While Shaikh was trying to fix the deal, the whistleblowers standing nearby realised what his intentions were, and called up the police control room to intimate cops of the planned trafficking. Based on the information they provided, cops nabbed Shaikh on Monday afternoon.

Explaining why they went out of their way to rescue a woman from prostitutions, the sex workers said that they had been through similar ordeals, and did not want another innocent woman to be victimised.

“Shaikh’s wife did not understand Hindi, and had no clue of what was in store for her,” said one of the sex workers who raised the alarm. “We know how hard it is to work here and live a marginalised, stigmatised existence. Your life is destroyed once you become a victim of such a racket. So we decided save her from the misfortune that we have suffered.”

Cops have planned to send the rescued woman back to her family in West Bengal. “We are investigating if Shaikh has trafficked women earlier. He will be in our custody till October 20,” said Kadam.


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