15 arrested in interstate sexual exploitation case; four minor girls rescued by capital police

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 10 May: The capital police have arrested 15 persons in connection with a sexual exploitation racket involving minor girls aged 10, 12 and 15.

Out of the 15, seven have been identified as pimps who used to take the minor girls to customers. Ironically, the trio has been identified as ‘peer educators’ of a voluntary health association, an NGO based in Itanagar that educates young women on sexually transmitted diseases.

The ‘peer educators’ are Techi Rina alias Ania, Puspa Mandal, and Lakhsmi Gorh, all residents of FNG Sector, Itanagar, and permanent residents of Gohpur in Assam. The other arrested pimps are Jamlo Tagung (a private driver from Chimpu), two sisters – Puspanjali Mili (who runs the Pompi and Rosni beauty parlour in Vivek Vihar, and Purnima Mili (who runs a beauty parlour in Guwahati, Assam) – both permanent residents of Dhemaji, Assam, and Inamul Haque, the husband of Puspanjali Mili and a permanent resident of Darrang in Assam, residing in Ganga, Itanagar.

A case under the POCSO Act has been registered against these individuals.

Addressing reporters on Friday, Itanagar SP Rohit Rajbir Singh informed that raids and the arrests were made based on credible inputs received on 4 May regarding a prostitution ring in which minor girls were involved.

“Accordingly, a capital police team conducted a raid on Techi Rina and Jamlo Tagung’s residence in Chimpu, from where the police rescued three minor girls,” the SP said.

It is learnt that two of the minor girls had been brought to Itanagar by the Mili sisters from Dhemaji and forced into prostitution, joining the gang of Ania and Tagung.

Another victim was the daughter of Tagung’s first wife. She was not forced into prostitution and was later reunited with her mother.

“All four trafficked girls had been brought from Dhemaji by the Mili sisters after enticing them with job offers in Itanagar. They were initially engaged at the beauty parlour, but were later forced into prostitution,” the SP informed.

Eight others – all customers – who have been arrested in the case are Health Services Deputy Director Dr Senlar Ronya; NRHM Yupia Accountant Debia Tara; Boleng PWD AE Takam Langdip; Itanagar RWD JE Michi Tabin; ex-Pistana ZPM Neelam Mangha; Palin RWD regular driver Rido Nime; Itanagar social forestry division driver Bamang Taya; and Model Village-based Maruti Arena sales manager Sushil Seal.

The minor girls had been brought to Itanagar in 2020, 2022 and 2023. Two of the girls, who had been brought in 2020 and 2022, were just eight years old then. One of them had managed to escape, but she was brought back again in 2022.

All the individuals who have been identified as customers were arrested based on their posts in a WhatsApp group they were associated with. After the news of the police raid emerged, certain individuals left the WhatsApp group.

“The pimps’ modus operandi was to send the pictures of the minor girls to customers and fix the rates for the girls. Usually, the customers would sexually assault the minors and pay up the pimps and leave. The pimps would take the minor girls for shopping on a regular basis,” the SP said.

On Thursday and Friday, arrest notices were served to one Jaya Tandi (manager of Hotel Centre Point in Ganga), and Tajum Ronya and Loknath Dahal (owner and manager, respectively, of the Marpi Hotel in Ganga) by the capital police.

Cases under Section 373 of the IPC and Section 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Immoral Trafficking Act have been registered at the women’s police station here.

The Child Welfare Committee has been apprised of the case. Currently, the minor girls are in shelter homes and undergoing medical treatment.