A Bangladeshi man was convicted for trafficking his wife in India, along with the owner of the hotel where she was used for prostitution, reports Times of India.
The man allegedly had sold his wife to the hotel-owner, who himself raped her and later used her for sex trade, the English-language Indian daily adds.
The four-year legal battle ended on Tuesday with the convictions of the Abdul Gaffar, a Bangladeshi national convicted of trafficking and illegal immigration of his Bangladeshi wife, and the hotel-owner, Bhagyadhar Dhibar, to whom he had sold his wife.
Dhibar raped the victim and later exploited her in his hotel and elsewhere. He was convicted of inducing, trafficking and abetting illegal immigration of a woman. Both were sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. The victim has been repatriated to Bangladesh.
Chief judicial magistrate Kundan Kumar Kumai of the City Sessions Court passed the order, convicting Gaffar under Sections 366B and 370 of the IPC and Section 14C of Foreigners Act of India.
The charges include punishment for "importation" of a woman from a foreign country and trafficking her for the purpose of prostitution. Dhibar was convicted under Sections 366, 366B, 370 and 120B of the IPC. The charges against him include luring into illicit sexual act.
Police said the case dates back to 1 September 2013 when officials from Immoral trafficking section of the detective department were alerted by a member of NGO Durbar Mahila Samanyay Committee. The NGO had found the woman in the custody of a man in the red-light area of Sonagachi.
Acting on the tip-off, police rescued the woman and arrested Gaffar. Dhibar was arrested two days later.
Police found that Gaffar had wooed the woman and told her that he had a job in India. On reaching Kolkata, he sold her to Dhibar, who himself raped her and had eight or nine men rape her in his own hotel and in brothels of Sonagachi as well. Gaffar would also surface, and bring in "customers" for his wife.
The woman was brought to International Justice Mission (IJM) and provided legal support and counselling. Saji Philip, director of operation, IJM, which is a global human rights organisation working for victims of violence, said, "This case is utterly inhuman because the culprit is her own husband."
Marie Riba, the woman's advocate, said, "The victims of human trafficking are real, and like us they have every right to seek justice. The public need to know that those who rob them of those rights will be severely punished." She said the victim has been sent to her Bangladesh home and efforts are on to reintegrate her in society.