Lured by the promise of a job, a man sold off his wife to sex traffickers in India

  • Golam Mortuja,
    Published: 2021-06-11 17:19:23 BdST


Head over heels in love, she was on cloud nine when she finally tied the knot with Jahidul Islam Rony, a bus conductor.

But a few days after the wedding, she was in for a rude awakening upon discovering that her husband was a drug addict and a rogue.

Rony, 27, would frequently be gone for days without informing his family. On one occasion, he left his wife behind at their Jatrabari home, while she was expecting.

Devoid of enough food during her pregnancy, she had to abort the foetus at the behest of her in-laws.

This had been going on for seven months until he came back home after a 12-day absence on Jan 1. Upon his return, he told his wife that he managed to find her a job in an old home in India.

A few days later on Jan 6, the woman, a garment factory worker, left for India alongside her husband with hopes of turning over a new leaf.

But those hopes were short-lived as her life would turn into a living hell upon reaching India. She was forced to engage in sex work and suffered from severe abuse along the way.

The woman eventually returned home on May 10 and filed a case against nine people, including her husband Rony.

Some other unidentified individuals are also among the accused in the case, according to OC Abdur Rashid of Hatirjheel Police. "An investigation is ongoing and we're trying to nab the suspects," he said.

According to the case, Rony took his wife to a woman, 'Nodi Madam', the head honcho of a human trafficking ring who told them that if they wanted the job, they would have to travel to India on Jan 6.

Rony, his wife and four other women went to Satkhira with Nodi and crossed into India. Later, the woman was flown to Chennai.

Nodi revealed her true colours once they arrived in India. She thrust the woman into prostitution. When she protested, the miscreants threatened to circulate nude photos and videos of her on the internet.

They also threatened to hand her over to the police for entering India without a passport, the woman alleged.

In Chennai, a few people told the woman that they bought her from Nodi for Tk 70,000.

Her assailants would keep her locked in a room, where she would be forced to have intercourse with eight to 10 different men a day, the woman said.

She later pleaded with a Bengali man from Kolkata to help her return home when he secretly gave her Tk 20,000. In the meantime, she was asked to work in a massage parlour.

There, she eventually seized an opportunity to reclaim her freedom by escaping through a window. Later, she reached home via Kolkata and Satkhira, according to the case.

Earlier on May 1, a young girl, who was similarly trafficked to India, also filed a case under the anti-trafficking law with Hatirjheel Police Station. She managed to return home after 77 days of severe torture in India. She named 12 people in her case, including Rifadul Islam, also known as TikTok Hridoy Babu.

Hridoy Babu, 21, who lived in Nayatola, Mogbazar, is the coordinator of an international nexus of human trafficking, police said. He was arrested in India following the incident of spreading the video of a woman, who was stripped naked and tortured.