Geeta Arora aka Sonu Punjaban has been handed a 24-year of rigorous jail term by a Delhi court on Wednesday. The 35-year-old is charged for allegedly running a sex racket in the city. Punjaban is to serve 24 years in prison on charges of kidnapping, immoral trafficking, prostitution among other offences. She is also charged for abducting a minor and having to force her into prostitution for four years, in 2009.
Announcing the sentence, the court said that Punjaban ‘crossed all limits’ to be called a woman. The court also asked her to pay a fine of Rs 64,000 to the survivor and said she “deserves severest punishment.” Her accomplice in the heinous act, Sandeep Bedwal, was also sent to 20-year imprisonment for raping a minor girl. Delhi Police Crime Branch had arrested Sonu Punjaban in 2017.
“In India thousands of children are kidnapped every year. Very few of them are recovered. Minor girls are kidnapped on the pretext of marriage to be sold in flesh industry where they are sexually exploited on a daily basis. (This) is also one of those cases where a minor innocent girl was trapped in the name of love and kidnapped in a pre-planned manner to force her into flesh trade,” the judge said in his order, Hindustan Times reported.
What You Should Know
- Sonu Punjaban – the woman infamous for running a prostitution racket in Delhi – sentenced 24 years in prison by a Delhi court.
- She is charged with trafficking young girls across Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
- Punjaban was arrested by Delhi Police Crime Branch in 2017.
“She forcibly administered drugs to the victim so that she could not resist a customer who would sexually exploit her. She applied chilly powder on the breast of the victim and also put it into her mouth in order to create fear in her mind that she should act as per her (Sonu Punjaban’s) wishes, otherwise be ready to face brutality. Sonu Punjaban beat the victim when she resisted to follow her commands,” the court said in its order, India Today reported.
The survivor, in this case, was a 12-years-and-10-months-old girl who was kidnapped and trafficked by Punjaban in 2009. Allegedly, she was sold multiple times to different people. The court has also provided Rs 7 lakh compensation for the child.
In 2017, Punjaban was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. In its statement, the court stated that she tortured and drugged the victim to make it “more suitable for prostitution” and used to charge Rs 1,500 from the customers.
“She applied chilly powder on the breast of the victim and also put it into her mouth in order to create fear in her mind that she should act as per her (Sonu Punjaban’s) wishes, otherwise be ready to face brutality. Sonu Punjaban beat the victim when she resisted to follow her commands.”
A report in the Times of India claimed that Punjaban had clients including “high-profile businessmen and her employees including aspiring models and actresses”.
Bollywood actor Richa Chadha later portrayed Sonu Punjaban’s character in the film Fukrey. Sonu’s first husband Vijay Singh was a gangster who was killed in a police encounter in 2004. Her second husband, Hemant Singh, was also killed in 2006 by a police team in Gurgaon.
Feature Image Credit: Zee News