Published On : Tue, Dec 26th, 2017

16-yr-old girl, forced into flesh trade, helped cops nab mastermind

Sonu Punjaban
New Delhi: After a six-month-long chase, the Delhi Police Crime Branch on Saturday finally arrested Sonu Punjaban – a woman infamous for running high-class prostitution rackets and trafficking young girls across Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

But arresting Punjaban with concrete proof was no easy feat.

It all started in 2009 when a 12-year-old girl was kidnapped from her home. There was no trace or sign of her in the next four years.

In 2012, a 16-year-old girl landed in Najafgarh police station. She claimed to have information about Punjaban and her network of pimps.

This 16-year-old child was the same girl who was kidnapped in 2009, the police later realised.

After being kidnapped, the girl was trafficked to at least 10 persons, drugged and forced into prostitution. On protesting, she was often starved and tortured.

After sometime, she landed up with Sonu Punjaban.

Punjaban, whose real name is Geeta Arora, taught her to speak English and gave lessons on how to present self in front of clients.

The girl recalled how she would be drugged before meeting a client. Punjaban’s network often provided home services to clients.

The girl, somehow, managed to flee and reached the Najafgarh police station.

Armed with all the info, the police filed an official complaint and knocked the doors of the court.

However, scared for her life, the 16-year-old girl went underground.

Meanwhile, in 2014, Punjaban, who was arrested by police in 2011 for running a prostitution racket, was acquitted by a Delhi court.

A senior official associated with the investigation managed to trace the missing girl, but once again she managed to flee, believing that she will be killed by Punjaban who was recently acquitted by court.

Punjaban’s case was handed over to ACP Lamba, who then got in touch with the girl. The police helped her with counselling.

Over the last six-months, based on information provided by the girl, the police carefully laid a trap to nab Punjaban.

“Sonu Punjaban was arrested on Saturday after she was interrogated by team heading by ACP Sandeep Lamba in Cyber Cell office of the Crime Branch,” said a senior police officer.

“Following which, Punjaban was given a notice to join investigation and she was arrested when she admitted her crime,” he added.

Punjaban was involved in 5 cases previously which include cases under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act, f murder and other crimes in Delhi and Haryana, he added.