Thursday, December 10, 2009

Child prostitution in India

The last Divya* trial update

Over the past few months, we have updated you several times during the final stages of the trial against Divya’s aunt. Over three years ago, Divya was rescued from her aunt’s brothel, and the trial has now come to a peculiar and unexpected end.

The closing arguments were scheduled for Tuesday. Before the hearing, the judge apparently indicated to Freedom Firm’s public prosecutor and to the brothel keeper’s defence lawyer that he was likely to convict Divya’s aunt on four of the five counts against her. He said that he planned to issue his decision on December 15. After that, the public prosecutor gave her closing argument, followed by the defence lawyer. But as the defence was speaking, Kanchan Undale, the woman on trial for selling her own niece as a prostitute, fell over...dead! She had a heart attack and died right there in the courtroom.

Her death was a dramatic, abrupt, and unexpected end to her trial. Please pray that this exceptional ending will have its own deterrent effect in discouraging others from selling minors into prostitution.

Thank you for your many prayers and your consistent interest throughout this trial.

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Girls locked up by brothel keeper to keep from rescue

Two girls were rescued by Freedom Firm and the Pune Crime Branch this past Tuesday. When word of a raid reached the brothel, the girls were hidden and locked on the terrace of the building. After some time, the team was able to locate them and break the lock to rescue them.

The two brothel keepers were also arrested and are now attempting to get out of jail on bail. Please pray for the rescued girls to adjust well to the government aftercare home and respond well to the Freedom Firm social workers who will be visiting them regularly. Also pray that the brothel keepers will be denied bail for several weeks, if not longer.

* Not her real name.
Freedom Firm
78/85, Indu Sadan
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India
643 001
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