Sheela's family kept their hope through all their battles!
Sheela* is a young girl from a poor family in Mau, Uttar Pradesh. Her father worked as a carpenter and a daily wage labourer to sustain them. But no matter how much he toiled, he could never earn enough to take care of the family of eight.
When Sheela was 15, she was kidnapped. Her father searched for her everywhere he could, but in vain. He even got the police involved but they did not help much. When no authority he reached out to helped him, he began to lose all hope of ever finding his daughter again.
When he heard of the NGO Guria, he approached them for help. They pushed the case with the authorities and made sure that it was given the importance it deserved. The police finally tracked Sheela down in six months and a case was registered against the kidnappers.
The accused kept threatening her and her family to withdraw the case. When they didn't agree, Sheela was kidnapped again. She was trafficked to Mumbai by the accused where she was gang raped and sold. When she was being moved again for prostitution, she managed to escape from the trafficker and call her father to inform him about the whole incident.
With the help of Guria, they brought Sheela back home as soon as they could. The staff at Guria ensured that she got the medical care she needed. They also registered her case in the court again and are pushing for her to receive justice.
They shifted Sheela's family to a safer location and provide them witness protection while the trial is pending. They also counselled Sheela and made sure that she got the emotional support she needed to move forward.
Young girls like Sheela need all the support they can get to rise after the trauma they undergo. You can stand up for them by donating to help them with the needed resources to get back up. You can give with confidence because every program on our platform is GIVEASSURED.
*Names changed to protect the identity of the survivor.
By donating to this program
you will be sponsoring the overall costs incurred to support the beneficiaries
What the beneficiary gets
Guria provides legal aid to women and children who have been rescued from sex trafficking as well as standalone cases of rape and assault in the community.
They work with the primary aim of ensuring that the perpetrators are put in jail without bail. Conviction is a secondary goal as it takes a long time for court verdicts in the Indian judicial system.
In many cases of abuse, the victims are very reluctant to file an FIR with the police because of social stigma. Many victims are afraid of the authorities and do not have faith that the justice system will protect them. In such cases, they work with the victim and/or their families to help hem lodge an FIR or a complaint in proper sections with the police stations or courts.
Once filed, Guria supports the victim to provide the relevant evidences to the investigating officer and protects the victims from being further abused or threatened by the perpetrator. Guria has its own set of lawyers who assist the government lawyer to build the case. The lawyers also work with the victims to help them for deposition in the court.The lawyers also work with the victims to help them for deposition in the court.
After ensuring arrest and submission of chargesheet against the perpetrators they aim to ensure that the perpetrators are retained in jain without the possibility of bail. In case of delayed justice, Guria also work in areas of witness protection, brothel seizures, opposing custody by the same traffickers etc.
The time between the incident and filing an FIR varies from same day to as long as 4 months. The investigation period could by itself be from 6 months to a year. The common roadblocks that are faced are denial of FIR Registration, delayed investigation and filing of chargesheet in improper sections, delayed medical examination of the victims and the accused, delay in recording of statement before magistrate, non-collection of evidences scientifically as per law, no free and fair investigation, facilitating the accused in absconding by delay in arrest
Once the investigation is completed the police file a chargesheet which allows them to arrest the accused and produce them in court.
In parallel to the court proceedings, they also work with the victims providing them counselling aid to help them go back to normal life. In some cases they also provide financial aid along with the government compensation to help them set up income generating activities.
When you support this program you help a survivor of abuse get access to legal aid and counseling.
1 June, 2022
Provide Legal Aid for survivors of sexual assault
Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months
Guria India has focussed on a single issue of sex trafficking since its inception. Among one of the pioneers on this issue, Guria India gradually evolved a holistic end-to-end strategy to fight sex trafficking and rape using the tools of legal aid, rescue, education, non-formal education centres, counselling, witness protection, livelihood support, vocational training, seminar/workshops, life skill training, awareness campaigns and cultural programs etc. This innovative strategy has evolved into a successful model visible in the form of India’s first child prostitution free red-light area at Varanasi – ratified by the International Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice, UP Govt.’s Rani Laxmi Bai Bravery Award, The Week Magazine’s Man of the Year Award and many others. Taking ahead this fight against sex trafficking and rape, Guria India continued with its integrated legal intervention and the other supplementing activities in line with its innovative strategy. During this reporting period, we focussed more on doing justice with the already pending 41 cases. However, we took up 6 new cases which take the total number of cases intervened to date to 257, out of which 215 cases have already been disposed leaving behind only 42 pending cases. During this reporting period again, we had to face the hurdle of the COVID-19 pandemic. We had hardly recovered from the deadly second wave and the legal processes were just catching up when the 3rd wave of Omicron started affecting the functioning of the courts. The district courts passed directions for no evidence in all the cases in compliance with the Hon’ble High Court orders as a precautionary measure against the 3rd wave of COVID 19. Some milestones of the programs are outlined below - Milestones Till Dec 2020 Jul 2021 – Jan 2022 Total Number of intervened cases 251 6 257 (215 Disposed; 42 Pending) Bail rejection of traffickers/brothel keepers 63 2 65 Safe custody of rescued survivors to their biological parents 17 - 17 Rejection of fake custodies by traffickers/brothel keepers and opposing fake habeas corpus petitions 56 - 56 Conviction (Number of Accused Persons) 5 41 46 Brothel Shutdown 260 1 261
Challenges faced and next steps
During this reporting period again, we had to face the hurdle of the COVID-19 pandemic. We had hardly recovered from the deadly second wave. The legal processes were just catching up when the 3rd wave of Omicron started affecting the functioning of the courts. The district courts passed directions for no evidence in all the cases in compliance with the Hon’ble High Court orders as a precautionary measure against the 3rd wave of COVID 19. During the entire period of the Allahabad case trial, a total of 5 attacks were faced (A total of 24 reported attacks to date since the last 16 years). There was also an attempt to murder Guria India’s Founder & Director Ajeet and his wife Manju in a so-called road accident. Even the complainant, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, was threatened inside the court premises during his deposition before the trial court. Besides this, we faced several attacks on the hearings within & without the court premises which went unreported.
Stories from the ground
Historical Judgment – Probably World’s first-ever conviction of 41 traffickers/brothel keepers in a single-sex trafficking case of 136 victims. The Hon’ble district court of Allahabad (now called Prayagraj) convicted 41 accused with rigorous imprisonment for 10-14 years and a total fine of Rs. 23,14,000 in a single-sex trafficking case where 136 victims, belonging to the Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and also Nepal. They were rescued from the brothels of Allahabad district (Meerganj red light area) in the State of Uttar Pradesh, 61 brothels were seized and 48 accused were arrested on the same day. The pre-rescue evidence collection began back in 2009 when Guria India’s founder, Ajeet Singh, disguised as a cosmetics seller used spycams to document 70 trafficked minor girls in brothels of Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) over 11 months. However, the following rescue operation was only partially successful due to vested interests. Based on our holistic end-to-end strategy we consistently followed up for the next opportunity to rescue and logically conclude. Equipped with all the evidence, Guria India filed a Public Interest Litigation at the High Court in 2016 for the rescue & rehabilitation of the remaining minor girls from sex slavery in the red-light area of Allahabad. Next, on request of the Allahabad administration, Guria India along with the recce report & video footage submitted a complete plan of action regarding the rescue and rehabilitation of the minor trafficked girls forced into prostitution. In line with our strategy, we compulsorily opposed right from the district court to High Court and further to the Supreme Court - the bails of traffickers to avoid evidence tampering & intimidation, fake custody of victims for re-trafficking, habeas corpus petitions by traffickers and any re-opening of the seized brothels. Guria members shoved themselves forward as witnesses since lack of supporting witnesses due to life threats in the absence of witness protection can lead to the acquittal of the traffickers – this explains the 90% acquittal rate in trafficking cases in India. In this struggle, the Allahabad case emanated into over 252 legal cases which we fought with very meagre resources and testified against all odds.
During the entire period of the Allahabad case trial, a total of 5 attacks were faced (A total of 24 reported attacks to date since the last 16 years). There was also an attempt to murder Guria India’s Founder & Director Ajeet and his wife Manju in a so-called road accident. Even the complainant, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, was threatened inside the court premises during his deposition before the trial court. Besides this, we faced several attacks on the hearings within & without the court premises which went unreported. Sadly, 57 girls who were rescued from Allahabad and sent to a government-run shelter home in Agra for rehabilitation were re-trafficked by the warden of the home in collusion with the traffickers, which was exposed by Guria India. This second case was also fought and won by Guria India in which the shelter home’s warden was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment till death (another landmark judgement in the country with 1st conviction of a government protection home warden and 1st life imprisonment under 370 IPC) On the other hand, we had to reach out to the supreme court four times especially, to oppose the bails of traffickers and fake custody of victims. Thirdly, Guria India’s counsel was not allowed by the Allahabad district court to argue in the Allahabad rescue case on behalf of the rescued victims despite assisting at all levels. Guria’s locus was already proved by the number of related cases argued in the Supreme Court, High Court, the district court on behalf of the rescued victims. Finally, the Supreme Court allowed Guria India’s counsel to argue both in written and oral in the Allahabad case. This was not the end to our troubles. The Judges of the trial court were transferred five times which led to the re-start of the final argument in the trial each time. Aggrieved with the same, we had to rush to the Hon’ble Supreme Court and get the file allotted by name to the last presiding officer (Judge) who had partly heard the final argument. Finally, after so much hard work, commitment and sacrifice by the entire Guria team, we were able to achieve justice by ensuring the conviction of 41 brutal human traffickers and brothel keepers. We hope that this judgment would act as a deterrent for the organized criminal nexus and presents a beacon of hope for everyone especially the other trafficked minor girls enslaved in brothels and forced into prostitution in different parts of the country. We will surely oppose the imminent appeals against conviction from the criminals in the Hon’ble High Court and even the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
7 October, 2021
Provide Legal Aid for survivors of sexual assault
Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months
Integrated legal interventions have always been a vital part of Guria’s holistic end-to-end strategy which has created India’s first child prostitution free red light area – ratified by the International Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice, UP Govt.’s Rani Laxmi Bai Bravery Award, and The Week Magazine’s Man of the Year Award. This time-tested and successful strategy involves a multi-dimensional approach for taking things to a logical conclusion and ultimately ensuring justice and social sanction to the survivors of sexual assault. In this reporting period (Jan – June 2021), despite the havoc of the COVID-19 pandemic’s 2nd wave and ensuing lockdown of the Courts, Guria continued with its regular follow-up of the survivors, their trials, witness protection, livelihood support, restoration, opposing bails and fake custodies/fake protection orders, vacating arrest/proceeding stays, brothel closures and the pending court cases.The Allahabad Trial has reached its final stage and currently, the final argument is in process with 10 dates still being fixed every month in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order for expediting this case. It is once again pertinent to mention that this is a case where Guria India’s director, disguised as a cosmetic seller, identified 70 minor trafficked enslaved girls in brothels through an 11 months long recce operation and evidence collection through spy cam. Thereafter, the rescue of 150 victims was conducted and 61 brothels were shut down in accordance with the orders of the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court in Guria’s PIL. In defiance of the 83% acquittal rate, contrary to the prevailing practice, we were the complainant, part of the rescue team, the witness of recovery memo and finally we also deposed in the trial court amidst several threats/attacks. Such high acquittal rates in the face of only 0.15% (i.e 1 in every 700) identification of victims is a very costly proposition for society to bear. It was in this case only that we had to approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court for cancellation of bails & fake custodies, establishing our locus for arguing both in written as well as oral and finally for retaining the trial file with the same judge who had partly heard the final argument to avoid unnecessary delay in justice delivery.During the follow-up of this very case, we also exposed and complained about 57 rescued victims of this case being re-trafficked by the very warden of Agra Protection Home, which resulted in her arrest. We successfully got the bails off the warden rejected from both the District Court as well as the Hon’ble High Court. Once again, as a thumb rule, we were the informant, witness, and deposed in this case also even after being threatened within the court premises and the suspected murder of our senior lawyer and volunteer by the criminal nexus. Here, we received a landmark judgment where the Government Protection Home warden was sentenced to life imprisonment till the end of her life. We are vehemently opposing her appeal against this conviction at the Hon’ble High Court which has still kept her behind the bars for the last 4 years. At the next step, after a self-investigation, we also filed a petition at the Hon’ble High Court seeking directions to the police for the immediate recovery of the 57 re-trafficked victims and arrest of fake custodians along with their 63 accomplices. In the light of the orders passed by the Hon’ble High Court, a total of only 12 victims have been recovered by the police to date and the rest have not been traced yet even after 4 years of the incidence. On the other hand, contrary to this, 9 un-recovered victims out of the 57 re-trafficked victims appeared before the trial court after proper service of summoning upon them and turned hostile under the influence of the criminal nexus. We are being regularly directed by the Allahabad administration for the counseling and home verification of the rescued victims inhabited at Government Protection Home (Women) Agra related to the Allahabad case. Guria India is continuously conducting the counseling and home verification of these rescued inmates and went even to the far-away states of Chattarpur (Madhya Pradesh), Dhaulpur and Alwar (Rajasthan), Sangli (Maharashtra), Belgaon (Karnataka) along with the districts Allahabad, Varanasi, Basti, Agra, and Kanpur of Uttar Pradesh to complete the said process. After Guria India’s successful submission of several time and resource-consuming counselling-cum-home verification reports, all of these rescued victims have been restored back to their biological parents. The said program of Give India provides legal aid to survivors from the districts of Allahabad, Varanasi, Azamgarh, and Ghazipur. During this reporting period, Guria took up 35 new cases. This takes the total number of cases intervened to date to 251, out of which 210 cases have already been disposed leaving behind only 41 pending cases. Since the inception of this project, out of 210 disposed of cases, we have achieved success in 138 cases (66% success rate) against the national reality of 83% acquittal rate in trafficking cases due to delayed justice and absence of rule of law. Out of the 25 cases disposed of during this reporting period (Jan 2021 – June 2021), Guria’s focussed intervention has achieved success in 18 cases (72% success rate) in the form of bail rejections at the District/High Court, conviction, and safe custody orders. We have also successfully rescued 6 victims from the clutches of the traffickers in this reporting period. All details are given in the chart below - Milestones: Since May 2018 Till Dec 2020 Jan 2021 – June 2021 TotalBail rejection of traffickers/brothel keepers 52 11 63Safe custody of rescued survivors to their biological parents 11 6 17Rejection of fake custodies by traffickers/brothel keepers and opposing fake habeas corpus petitions 56 0 56Conviction (Number of Accused Persons) 4 1 5Brothel Shutdown 61 0 61From the very beginning of this project to June 2021, Guria has impacted 163 direct beneficiaries and approximately 978 indirect beneficiaries through free legal aid, mock trials, counseling, govt. compensation schemes, bail rejections, brothel seizures, opposing fake custody applications and fake protection orders, opposing fake habeas corpus petitions, challenging acquittals, etc. This effort of integrated legal intervention is also supplemented by witness protection and livelihood support by Guria India to ensure successful deposition and henceforth conviction. In this reporting period, Guria also provided suggestions to the Government of India on the Draft Trafficking In Persons (Prevention, Care And Rehabilitation) Bill 2021.Also, in the context of COVID-19, we had to undertake few unplanned and non-budgeted activities including distribution of govt. prescribed medicine kits, supporting cremation of dead bodies, etc. and additionally through Give India’s support we distributed grocery kits to 5374 families (In total we distributed grocery kits to 23621 families)
Challenges faced and next steps
The legal proceedings were hampered to a much greater extent during this reporting period from irregular court sittings to long shutdowns of the courts amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This creates a situation of vulnerability for the victims since already the courts had started adopting a lenient approach in bail petitions. Additionally, the delay in the deposition of the victim families due to partial lockdown of the courts, allowed the traffickers to pressurize them through threats/bribes, tamper with pieces of evidence and much more. On the other hand, this partial lockdown of courts hampered the historical Allahabad trial which was on its final stage and now has been severely delayed due to COVID-19. Due to the lockdown amidst the COVID-19 deadly 2nd wave, our tasks of counselling and home verification became even more challenging because the victims belonged to the far-away states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka along with the various districts of Uttar Pradesh. The lack of conveyance (no taxi, no buses, no trains, no flights) and closure of hotels/restaurants made the counselling and home verification processes much more difficult. Many times, we hitchhiked our way to the destination.As discussed above regarding the re-trafficking of 57 girls from Government Protection Home (Women) Agra, only a few victims have been recovered by the state and many are still missing. This again reveals the lethargic conduct of police and clear non-compliance of the State governments’/High Court’s order regarding immediate recovery of the victims re-trafficked by the warden of the Government Protection Home (Women) Agra. On the other hand, 9 un-recovered victims out of the 57 re-trafficked victims appeared before the trial court and turned hostile under the influence of the criminal nexus.It is pertinent to mention that we continued all grass-root interventions including legal aid, mock trials, counselling, govt. compensation schemes, bail rejections, brothel seizures, opposing fake custody applications and fake protection orders, opposing fake habeas corpus petitions, challenging acquittals, the unplanned grocery distribution (Total 23621 families)/non-budgeted cremation support/ non-budgeted medicine kit distribution and much more amidst COVID-19 despite many of our team members falling seriously ill and being quarantined. In the context of delayed justice, we will primarily focus on expediting the pending 41 cases from our end by ensuring survivors’ depositions, witness protection, livelihood support, restoration, bail rejections and opposing fake custodies/fake protection orders, vacating arrest/proceeding stays, brothel closures etc. for the next 6 months so that Guria’s successful model is replicated where legal intervention has a pivotal role to play. Our successful holistic end-to-end model is incomplete without comprehensive legal support. At the same time, we will also keep our eyes and ears open to cases of trafficking and sexual exploitation needing urgent intervention. We will also continue counselling and home verification of the rescued re-trafficked victims of Allahabad and other cases. Keeping in line with their modus operandi, the traffickers/brothel keepers have once again shifted their sex trade to other parts of Agra and Allahabad. Hence, we have once again intercepted their inherent capacity to camouflage and change forms/places and consistently survive in adverse situations. New places and trafficked girls have already been identified through recce operations. Also, we are currently planning and collecting documents for a few more PILs.
Stories from the ground
Impact Story: 13-year-old Farida (Changed Name) was forcefully abducted on her way to school by 2 local accused in 2018. The accused forcefully closed her mouth and threatened to kill her family if she tried to call for help. Stopping at a nearby place, the accused forced the girl to change her school uniform & get into normal clothes and then took her to the railway station, from where she was taken to Secunderabad District in the state of Telangana, almost 1500 km away from Varanasi. Here the main accused used to reside and work in a poultry farm. This accused forcefully raped the girl against her will and used to beat her brutally every day. He also forced the girl to make food, clean the room, and do other household chores. Meanwhile, the accused was also in coordination with other members of the criminal nexus for selling the girl and was waiting for the best opportunity.On the other hand, the victim’s family was extremely worried about her whereabouts. They immediately reached the police station on the same day and informed the police, but their FIR was not registered. Finally, 2 days after the incident, the police registered the case, and that too under sections of abduction only. However, even after registering the FIR, the police showed a very lackadaisical attitude, and the child was not rescued immediately. At the same time, the accused’s family was pressurizing the victim's family to withdraw the complaint or else they would kill the whole victim's family and the victim too. Despite the whole incidence & accused being clear to the entire village, no one had the courage to stand against them and support the victim's family since the accused belonged to a powerful local family. At this stage, the victim's family approached Guria India for free legal aid. Guria India immediately supported the victim's family by moving several applications to the authorities for the immediate rescue of the trafficked victim. Even pamphlets with the details of the missing girl and contact number of the police authorities were distributed by the police/victim family/Guria team and pasted at prominent places in the city.By a stroke of luck, the poultry farm owner where the accused was living came to know that the accused had caged and was torturing a minor girl, because of which he immediately fired the accused. As a result, the accused had to return from Secunderabad to Varanasi with the victim and was looking for an opportunity to sell her. However, the police got information from its sources and immediately traced the victim and the accused. The accused somehow managed to escape but fortunately, the victim was rescued. The victim was then rehabilitated to a shelter home in the compliance with Child Welfare Committee’s order. It took the police almost 4 days after the rescue to complete the medical examination of the victim and the statement of the victim before the judicial magistrate was recorded 14 days after rescue. Finally, the victim’s custody was handed over to her parents after the completion of all the legal formalities.However, the police did not arrest the accused even after 4 months of the incident ignoring even an NBW already issued by the court. The accused and his family was continuously giving life threats to the victim's family, trying to bribe her and create pressure through other villagers for compromise and withdrawal of the complaint. However, Guria’s counseling and emotional support regularly boosted the confidence level of the victim and her parents to fight for justice. Finally, after getting no response from the police towards the arrest of the accused even after moving several applications to the authorities an application was moved by the victim’s mother to National Commission for Protection of Child Rights after which swift action was taken and the accused was finally behind the bars almost 4 months after the incident. Guria India’s liaison /pressure also forced the investigating officer to increase the sections related to rape in the investigation based on the victim’s statement recorded before the magistrate. Finally, a charge sheet was filed against the accused by the police under sections 363, 366, 376, 323, 506 IPC & ¾ POCSO Act. The accused’s bail was opposed by Guria India at the District Court and it was rejected. We also got rejected the accused’s 1st bail in the Hon’ble High Court Allahabad, and are opposing his 2nd bail which is currently pending. The trial is currently running in special POCSO Court Varanasi with ST No. 81/2019. Through several rounds of counseling and mock trials, the victim has become extremely confident in court and is undeterred by the unwelcoming court atmosphere and the cunning questions of the defense lawyers. Guria’s impact is evident in the fact that the victim, just a 16-year-old girl, managed to reach the court on every date and was deposed successfully in the court while simultaneously preparing for her 10th board exams, despite all the threats and other myriad problems she and her family were facing. Guria India is confident that after successful depositions from the victim and her parents, we would be able to make a strong case of conviction and provide justice to the victim's family, while simultaneously motivating her to follow her dreams undeterred.
23 March, 2021
Progress Update - Legal Intervention amidst COVID-19 pandemic
Guria India’s integrated legal intervention is an integral part of its end-to-end holistic strategy. We always ensure taking a multidimensional approach for coming to a logical conclusion in each and every case. During this reporting period, we also intervened in 14 new cases at the district court and Hon’ble High Court which takes up the total number of cases intervened to 216. But as per the current update, 184 cases have already been disposed leaving behind 32 pending cases. Out of these 184 disposed cases, our legal advocacy achieved success in 122 cases (66% success rate against the ground reality of 17% conviction rate as per US TIP Report 2020) in the form of bail rejections of traffickers, safe custodies of rescued/rape survivors, opposing fake custodies of the rescued victims to the traffickers/brothel keepers who use forged documents and conviction of 4 traffickers. The legal proceedings were hampered to a much greater extent during this reporting period due to irregular court sittings in the context of lockdown amidst COVID-19 pandemic. The traffickers/brothel keepers were able to take advantage of the Supreme Court order on granting bail during lockdown to avoid overcrowding of jails and hence it became too tough for us to oppose the bails at district courts & Hon’ble High Court. However, we opposed the bails, proceedings stays and revisions filed by the traffickers/brothel keepers at the district court level and also in the Hon’ble High Court.
In the backdrop of the supreme court order establishing our locus in fighting the first ever case of this magnitude in the state of UP which involved 48 traffickers, 136 rescued victims and 61 brothel seizures (Guria India’s locus was unfairly denied by the district court in spite of Guria India filing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for rescuing the enslaved girls, undertaking the 11-months long spy cam evidence collection as a cosmetic seller by our Founder & Director, being the complainant and witness of the recovery memo in an unprecedented Allahabad rescue case).
The trial in the district court had reached the stage of final argument several times but unfortunately 5 judges were transferred almost at the time of delivering the judgments. Aggrieved with the same, Guria India approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court and succeeded in getting directions for the transfer of the trial file to the last judge who had heard the final argument partly. It is also pertinent to mention, that contrary to this harassment we already had a proactive order from the Hon’ble Supreme Court to decide the case expeditiously by fixing minimum 10 dates in a month but the Apex Court’s spirit was ignored.
We are also being regularly nominated by the Allahabad administration for the counselling and home verification of the rescued victims inhabited at Government Protection Home (Women) Agra. Guria India is continuously conducting the counselling and home verification of these rescued inmates belonging to the Indian states of Rajasthan, Assam, West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra and our neighbouring country Nepal. After Guria India’s successful submission of several counselling-cum-home verification reports, many of these rescued girls have been restored back to their parents.
5 July, 2020
Rescue and economic support
Rescue and economic support
As per the last update the Allahabad case and the other 10 new cases, that were taken up emanated into many other cases which took the total to 176 cases. Guria India, since its inception, has always stuck to its end-to-end strategy and based on the same, we follow up each and every case to its logical conclusion. During this reporting period we took up 8 new cases from the district court which emanated into 18 other cases in the form of custodies and bail applications. This takes our total number of cases to 202. Guria India’s integrated legal intervention resulted in conviction of 4 traffickers, 49 bail rejections, safe custody of 11 victims to their biological parents and rejection of 56 fake custody petitions filed by traffickers/brothel keepers. Fake custodies are part of the modus operandi to retraffick the rescued victims to the very same brothels due to gaps in the criminal justice system where as bail rejections, in the absence of state witness protection, thwarts any efforts by the traffickers to threaten the victim witnesses and tamper the evidences. Out of the 202 cases taken up till this reporting period, 172 cases have been disposed and 30 cases are still pending before different courts. Trials are ongoing in 18 cases and 12 cases are pending before the Hon’ble High Court.
Out of the 172 disposed cases we achieved success in 117 cases (68%) and the details are as follows:-
Bail rejection of traffickers/brothel keepers -49
Safe custody of rescued survivors to their biological parents-11
Rejection of fake custodies by traffickers/brothel keepers-56
Conviction Case brief:
Malini Sharma (Changed Name) worked hard as a cook in a local school to support her family, living in Varanasi with her husband and daughter, Jyoti (Changed Name). Jyoti was a bright student of class 7th at that time. In the year 2013, when Jyoti was returning after taking a bath, she was trafficked by 3 people from her village, with the intention of forcing her into prostitution. The above mentioned people took her to some unknown place (transit), where she was gang raped, beaten and kept for a few days.
Meanwhile, Malini noticed that her daughter was missing when she returned from work. She immediately informed the police, but was ignored. Troubled by both the kidnapping of her daughter and the lax reaction from the police, she gave a letter to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Varanasi on 05/07/13. Amidst trying to find her daughter, Malini and her husband also received telephonic threats from the accused. Due to her letter to the SSP, the police visited her home and registered a “show piece” FIR against unknown accused persons, despite the names of the accused being clearly disclosed by Malini in her letter to the SSP.
Due to her experience with the police, Malini believed that the police has colluded with the traffickers, and was losing hope of finding her daughter. Guria India took cognizance of the matter, and initiated the proceedings for the recovery of the minor trafficked victim. We also approached the Hon’ble High Court seeking directions to the investigating officer as well as the Superintendent of Police Varanasi for immediate recovery of the victim and strong legal action against the perpetrators. After the directions issued by the Hon’ble High Court, the police came into action and few accused were arrested. We successfully opposed the bails and got it rejected from the district court as well as the Hon’ble High Court. Further the main accused was arrested after one year of the incidence and the victim was too rescued. After completion of all the legal formalities, the victim was handed over to her family. The story that the victim narrated before the Magistrate would give a goosebumps to anybody. She stated that she was sold in a brothel somewhere in Patna (Bihar). There the brothel owner and the pimps tortured her physically to force her into prostitution. She was beaten up brutally and burnt with cigarette butts. She was raped too by the pimps in the brothel but even then she denied for prostitution. However, police recovered the victim while the traffickers were in a lookout to sell her somewhere else.
After the girl was rescued, Guria India regularly held counselling sessions with Jyoti and her family for proper rehabilitation. To support the family and looking at the threat perception, Guria India provided them with witness protection and livelihood support for reintegration and social sanction. Through Guria's intervention and letters, the police and administration was pressurized to find the accused. Despite having an unnamed FIR, the police identified the main accused persons of the case and filed 2 charge sheets against them. Through regular counselling sessions to Jyoti, Malini and her family, they gave contested statements, both to the police and later in the trial Court. Guria's lawyers were able to establish the possibility of more heinous crimes against Jyoti through her statements, and the trial was held in Sections 363, 366, 368, 376D, 370, 372, 373 IPC and 3/4/5/6 POCSO Act 2012, where as the FIR was only registered in Sections 363, 366 IPC.
Finally all the 4 accused were convicted by the trial court with 20 years rigorous imprisonment in the above said sections. Guria India is also opposing the appeals filed by these accused in the Hon’ble High Court. We have provided livelihood support to the survivor and now, after regular counselling sessions by Guria team members, the family has started living a life with dignity.
3 December, 2019
Informative sessions being conducted
Informative sessions being conducted
22 July, 2019
As mentioned in the past, the Allahabad case was one of the historical episodes/milestone in the long run of Guria. The Allahabad case itself extended to about 148 cases in the form of bails, habeas corpus petitions, custody appeals, bail cancellation applications, release contesting petitions right from the district court to the Hon’ble High Court and further to the Hon’ble Supreme Court which are still being pursued. Besides these Guria took up 10 new cases of sexual assault and successfully was able to heal the wounds of 10 victims aggrieved in the said cases. These cases also extended to a total of 18 new cases in the form of bails and custodies. We ensured the safe and secure custody of the victims in the hands of their lawful and biological parents. At the same time, as a part of our innovative strategy, we were successful in achieving the bail rejection of 12 accused from the session court in the theses new cases. There’s a lot to go through in these new cases as well the bigger one at Allahabad. We are undertaking a process of counseling and trauma treatment with these victims together with their socio-economic assessment. Guria also takes the disbursement of government compensation to these survivors on its top priority. Guria has successfully availed compensation of Rs. 1 lakh each to 2 victims out of these 10 from the new cases taken up.
The total number of cases covered and intervened under the program is 176.
Story from the field
Savita (name changed) aged about 15 years and resident of Varanasi was abducted & raped by the accused and his companions. The father of the victim tried hard to search for her whereabouts but all in vain. After a lot pain, he got a complaint registered at the Shivpur police station of district Varanasi under sections of abduction and sexual assault of the minor victim. Guria was following the case from the very beginning and through our regular & tireless effort the minor girl was recovered from the clutches of the traffickers. Guria ensured the safe and secure custody of the minor girl into the hands of her legal and biological parents. The investigation is still going on in the said case and letters are being moved for the arrest of the accused responsible for the crime. Guria’s effort has also lead to the disbursement of Rs. 1. Lakh compensation to the victim. At present the victim is living happily with her family and she is very positive regarding her future. Due to Guria’s support, she is now in a very strong and empowered position to brighten her future. Currently we are holding regular sessions with her and her family so that we could counsel them and help them adopt the best option of livelihood which would make them stand with a much more stronger feet in the mainstream society.
|What is the expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19?||140|
|What is the number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program, Year-To-Date||176|
|Village/City/State where project is located||Allahabad|
|Total Budget for the project for FY18-19||700000|
|Total Expenses for the project YTD||660000|
30 October, 2018
Guria India's Update
Guria has been making deep effects in the lives of some girl children through this program.
Guria was the first to expose the trafficking of 57 girls from the Government Shelter Home in Agra. This lonely struggle to establish the truth was further corroborated by two new major revelations of sexual exploitation in shelter homes at Muzaffarpur in Bihar state and Devariya in UP state.
In addition to documentary evidences, we were successful in ensuring deposition of 12 prosecution witnesses, including guria's testimony in court. After final hearing and submission of written argument in the matter, the trial court sentenced the Superintendent of the protection home with life imprisonment (till the end of her life) under section 370 of the Indian Penal Code for the first time in the country. This was also the first ever conviction in the country of any superintendent of protection home in the context of recent nationwide revelations of rape, murder and trafficking of the inmates.
Story from the field
Guria in coordination with the district administration Allahabad rescued about 140 victims from the Allahabad red light area. Thereafter, these victims were inhabited in Government Protection Home Agra for their rehabilitation process which was being done by the State.
The Superintendent, in collusion with the traffickers/brothel keepers, re-trafficked 57 victims from the Home. Investigation was done and prosecution against the Superintendent was initiated on the written complaint by Guria to the State and other higher authorities. After completion of trial, Superintendent of Government Protection Home was sentenced for her whole life under section 370 of the Indian Penal Code.
Much before the revelations at Muzaffarpur and Deoria, Guira had exposed the trafficking racket in government protection home, testified and advocated in the matter in the trial court. Guria was attacked by the criminals in the process of getting her three bails rejected from the district and high court and while testifying. This was also the first ever conviction in the country of any superintendent of protection home in the context of recent nationwide revelations of rape, murder and trafficking of the inmates.This conviction has created a deterrent for other members of this organized crime and has also set a precedent for others.
|Expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19||57|
|Number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program this year||57|