New Delhi: It may not just be the local residents of Khirki Extension - where Somnath Bharti carried out his infamous midnight raid last month - who are affected by the alleged drug and sex trafficking going on in their backyard. On Monday night, three young Ugandan women lodged a police complaint, apparently with AAP support, seeking protection from traffickers.
CNN-IBN spoke to them:
Woman 1: Some lady told us that there are jobs here. We can work. And then may be we share the salary because she has brought us to work. So I came. I paid some money to some lady in Africa but for the ticket, I think, they bought it but I don't know who because they are friends and they connect. But they bought me a ticket and I came to Delhi.
CNN-IBN: You are saying that there is some person in Africa and some person in India?
Woman 1: Yes, please.
CNN-IBN: And both are African nationals?
Woman 1: Yes. They are saying that the situation is not good but you will soon start work. There is a problem with boys but soon you will start work. And then they told us that you are supposed to sleep with men to get money. And we refused.
CNN-IBN: Did you try contacting your embassy over here?
Woman 1: I did not try because everywhere I would go they would say if you try your embassy we will not help you. They will ask you, since you came why didn't you report the next day.
CNN-IBN: Did you ever go to the police station, try lodging an FIR, try complaining over there?
Woman 1: When they told me it will not help me, I didn't even bother. Because I did not have any money to give it.
CNN-IBN: You are a mass communication student. Did you ever think that people who are telling you that police will not help are perhaps not right? Did that question ever cross your mind?
Woman 1: It would come in my mind but some other stuff I could see and I could see they would not help me. Because they connect to them, they talk to them and they inform about what is happening.
CNN-IBN: What would you like to tell your embassy over here?
Woman 1: Of course, I would like to appeal to the embassy if they can help me go back.
Here is what the other victim said:
CNN-IBN: Have you seen people being pushed into it?
Woman 2: Yes.
CNN-IBN: With your own eys?
Woman 2: Yes. She used to bring (clients) for me. I refused. She hit me so much. She told me here in Delhi if you do not sleep with men you don't eat. I said, ok let me die but I will not sleep with anybody.
CNN-IBN: Did you try reaching out to your embassy here in Delhi?
Woman 2: Yes, I tried the embassy. I asked people. They said even embassy will not help you. because every black here, police knows what we are doing here. Even embassy. Even embassy, no body can help you.
CNN-IBN: Why are you so apprehensive?
Woman 2: If they know, they can kill me.
On January 15, Delhi's Law Minister Somnath Bharti had carried out a midnight raid at the residence of a few Ugandan women, alleging drug and sex trafficking. The women had then refuted the charges and alleging harassment, had filed complaints against the mob and identified Somnath as the man leading the mob.
The incident had triggered a stand-off between the Delhi Police and the Delhi government, with the latter demanding the suspension of the police officers who apparently "did not assist" Bharti in his controversial raid.
According to the Indian law, the police cannot arrest or detain women before sunrise and after sunset.
However, with the police complaint filed by the three Ugandan women, the Delhi Police and the Delhi government may have to act together for their security.