Sex rackets use 13-year-old for 6 months, 54 held

The girl’s trauma began after she got infected with Covid-19, and was admitted to the Government General Hospital, Guntur, on June 26, 2021.

Published: 04th February 2022 07:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2022 07:14 AM   |  A+A-

POCSO, Rape, Sexual Assault

Image used for representational purpose only.(Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

GUNTUR: For almost six months, alleged three sex rackets used a hapless 13-year-old girl for profit by presenting her to several men in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, even as her daily-wager father believed she was safe with a “nurse” who had taken her home for treating Covid-19. The investigation into the case has now unearthed a tale of horror and trauma. Police have so far arrested 54 people, including alleged kingpins, pimps and customers, who had raped the minor. 

The girl’s trauma began after she got infected with Covid-19, and was admitted to the Government General Hospital, Guntur, on June 26, 2021. At the hospital, a woman identified as Swarna Kumari, noticed the Class VIII student, and approached her father in the guise of a nurse. 

Assuring better treatment for the motherless girl, she convinced the father to send the child to her home. A few days later, she allegedly forced the girl into prostitution, and took her to various places in Nellore, Vijayawada, Ongole and Hyderabad, where the girl was raped by several men. 

To avoid suspicion, Swarna Kumari, now under arrest and arraigned as the prime accused, allowed the girl to speak occasionally to her father, a widower, over the phone under strict surveillance. A couple of months later, the girl managed to escape.

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“After escaping from the woman, she reached Vijayawada. The woman, meanwhile, informed the girl’s father that she had gone missing and lodged a missing complaint with Nallapadu police in Guntur,” police said. The girl was not found despite the complaint. The child’s plight, however, was far from over.

“She fell into hands of another sex-trade organiser in Vijayawada, who found her at the bus station and took the girl with her,” police added, without naming the woman. The woman reportedly grabbed the opportunity and took her to various places, including Kakinada and Tanuku, and presented the minor to many men to satisfy their libido after paying up.

As the teen was transported from one house to another, the girl came across Jassintha and her daughter Hemalatha (accused two and three, respectively). The motherdaughter duo, on the pretext of rescuing her, gathered information from the girl , blackmailed the racketeers and collected money from them.

“With an intention to force the girl into flesh trade permanently, they went to the girl’s school to get a transfer certificate (TC), so that they can keep the girl wi th them. The school management sensed foul play and declined to give the certificate. With no other option, they approached the girl’s father and told him about his daughter’s condition.

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They identified themselves as officials from the Child Welfare Department and threatened to file a complaint against him for pushing his daughter into flesh trade,’’ the police said. The terrified man applied for the TC, and handed it over to them.

They started making money by offering the child to many men. The girl managed to flee after two days and reached home on December 18, 2021, and told her father of her harrowing experience. The man approached the Medikonduru police, who filed a zero FIR on December 18 itself, and transferred the case to their Arundalpet counterparts.

Meanwhile, the girl was admitted to the general hospital with injuries sustained. Guntur urban police formed special teams to investigate and arrested as many as 54 persons and booked them under various sections of IPC, Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act and POCSO Act. They were produced before a court and remanded in custody. “We are determined to book every person involved in this case. We are taking all necessary action to arrest all of them,” investigating officer DSP K Supraja told TNIE.

Covid cover to cheat dad
Swarna Kumari allegedly used Covid-19 as a cover to con the girl’s father. The arrested 54 people have been booked under various sections of IPC, Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act and POCSO Act. They were produced before a court and remanded in custody



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