Two Indian brothel owners, Pancho Singh and his wife Chhaya Devi received life imprisonment for trafficking, rape and sexual abuse of children under different sections of the protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act and the Indian Penal Code – in a country where less than two in five trafficking cases get passed through the walls of the courtroom.
Prosecutor Sunil Kumar awarded the sentence to the couple, who ran the brothel in Gaya, Eastern Bihar in association with the additional district and sessions judge Sachchidanand Singh. Indeed, this is a major milestone achieved in the trajectory of trafficking cases in India, but this has only been possible due to some “brave survivors”, whose absolute courage and sheer grit gave these perpetrators the maximum punishment under prevalent anti-trafficking laws.
It is said, once the girls are rescued, they go back to their homes and they never come back to testify. Reasons: intimidation and threats from the traffickers, questioning eyes of the society and inner fear and anguish to again face their abusers– sitting in the same, breathing the same air as that of her trafficker is in itself a very fearful thought!