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Sonu Punjaban sentenced to 24 years in prison in human trafficking case, all you need to know

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 23 July 2020, 10:08 IST
Sonu Panjaban

Sonu Punjaban, alias Geeta Arora, the operator of Delhi’s biggest sex racket, has been sentenced to 24 years in prison, a Delhi court, while sentencing Sonu Punjaban stated that, she "crossed all limits to be called a woman and deserves the severest punishment".

Who is Sonu Punjaban and why does she deserve the 'severest punishment'?

Here's all you need to know:

Sonu Punjaban, is a high end pimp who oversees a sex racket in many parts of India. Her base of operation and clients were mostly in South Delhi, where she supplied girls to powerful men for sexual services. As maintained by police in 2011, she had several high class sex workers working under her and supplied them in up-market locations of the national capital, farmhouses and five star hotels.

Sonu Punjaban was taken into custody by police on numerous occasions, however she managed to dodge punishment until one of the girls working for her came forward and filed a complaint against her.

Sonu Punjaban was first put behind bars under sections of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act in 2007. Although she got bail in the 2007 case, she was again apprehended for the same wrongdoing in 2008.

In 2011, Delhi Police took in Sonu after they received a tip-off that she was again seen indulging in prostitution. The city deployed two officers, who pretended to be customers and set the trap. The officers then struck a deal with the tout for two girls (Raju Sharma, and Sonu).

Police then took Sonu, her four associates and four men into custody during a raid in Delhi’s Mehrauli. For the reason that she had been arrested for the same crime twice before, the police tried her under provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

She spent some time in jail, but the court eventually had to free her due to a dearth of corroboration against her.

The case, which at last lead the way to Sonu Punjaban's jail term sentence, was launched against her in 2014 when a girl escaped her confinement and lodged a complaint in Najafgarh Police station. The girl told the police that she was nearly 13 years old when she was kidnapped in 2013 by a man named Sandeep Bedwal. Since then she had been forced to have sex with over 12 men, before being sold to Sonu, who taught her basic English and etiquette to please customers.

A written complaint was made and her statement was taken. But, before the victim could reach the court, she escaped. The matter was then transferred to the Delhi Crime Branch.

The crime branch finally found the victim in 2017 and nabbed Sonu and Sandeep Bedwal. The Delhi Police had booked Sonu Punjaban for forcing minor girls into prostitution. Meanwhile, Sandeep Bedwal was booked on charges of raping minor girls. The Delhi court has upheld both these charges.

The Delhi court has convicted Sonu Punjaban under various provisions of the Immoral Traffic Act for trafficking the minor girl and forcing her into prostitution. In one case, she has been handed 14 years and in other, she will serve 10 years, both these terms will be served consecutively, Her partner Sandeep Bedwal has been found guilty of raping the minor for which he was handed 20 years jail term. The court has also provided Rs 7 lakh compensation for the child.

Sonu not just played a long cat and mouse game with the law before being brought to justice, but also led a dramatic life. Sonu Punjaban was born in East Delhi. By the time she came on Delhi Police's scanner, She was the owner of a house in South Delhi's Saidullajab and had a prostitution ring under her.. She was married twice, both times to criminals, who were later killed in police encounters.

Sonu Punjaban changed her way of living after she fell in love with gangster Vijay Singh, a close aide of gangster Prakash Shukla. She married Vijay Singh in 2003 but he was gunned down by UP’s STF in Garh Mukteshwar soon after they got married. Her next love interest, Deepak, was also shot down in Assam.

As per reports, investigators say that she has a fascination for "bad boys" and every man who has come in her life has died.

She also attempted to end her life inside Tihar Jail after the Delhi court convicted her last week. She was taken to a hospital after she consumed an excess amount of pills meant for headache.

The magnitude of her sex racket and her expertise to dodge the law had made her a famous figure. Richa Chadha's character Bholi Punjaban in 2013 film 'Fukrey' and 'Fukrey Returns' was based on Sonu Punjaban.

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First published: 23 July 2020, 9:50 IST