Customer may be faced with the Death Penalty for Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Minor
A Focused Task Unit (FTU) for Strict Enforcement against Perpetrators of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh was launched in April, 2018. This was set up to deter demand and prosecute the culprits (usually termed, though wrongly, as customers) who sexually exploit children, by soliciting sex from them. Yesterday, the Focused Task Unit successfully carried out a raid in a Kabadi Bazaar brothel, rescuing 4 victims and arresting 1 ‘customer’. The arrested customer, Mohammad Shami is a resident of Shyamnagar, Meerut of the 4 victims rescued, 2 were minors and have been said to be from Nepal, the other 2 from Rajasthan’s Naat community. The ‘customer’ has been charged with section 372 and 373 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and after a thorough medical examination and bone ossification test, the exploiter of the minors will be charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO). In line with the recent amendment of the POCSO Act to provide death penalty for rapists of minors below the age of 12, the accused may face death sentence.
This raid took place at the ‘safe house’ of a pimp named Pinky. Pinky is currently absconding from Kabadi Bazaar, Meerut. The rescued victims are currently with the police officials from the Meerut Anti-Human Trafficking Unit. This rescue and raid operation was carried out on 10th September, 2018, by the Meerut Focused Task Unit (FTU) including sub-inspector, Mr. Latesh Verma, AHTU officials, and other members of the FTU. The Focused Task Unit has been preparing to carry out this operation for the past month.