Do you remember Bholi Punjaban from Fukrey? Well, we found the real deal. Sonu Punjaban is a gangster and flesh trade mastermind who was the inspiration behind this Bollywood role. But, neither her life, nor her story, is as fun and lighthearted as had been portrayed in the movie, it is still pretty colourful though. Here are six pointers as to why you need to know about this woman.
1. Her real name is Geeta Arora and she used to work in a beauty parlour before she tried her hand at prostitution with the contacts she made through her then-boyfriend, Vijay Singh.
2. She took over the flesh trade in New Delhi once her husband Hemant Sonu died in a police shootout. Sonu Punjaban managed illegal prostitution rings in Kolkata, Mumbai, Rajasthan, and Punjab.
3. “Every man who came in her life died. She always had a fascination for bad boys,” said an investigator to a leading newspaper. First, her gangster husband Vijay Singh was gunned down by the police in 2003. This was soon after, followed by her boyfriend Deepak, again, in a police shootout. Her last husband, Hemant Sonu was Deepak's brother who she fell in love with once Deepak passed away. “Hemant had the biggest influence on her life so much so that she took up his name and became Sonu Punjaban,” an investigator stated.
4. She played a hand in the arrest of her rivals Icchadhari Baba and Nagma in 2009, taking over the areas they had under them.
5. Sonu Punjaban was finally arrested in December 2017 when a young girl who was kidnapped back in 2009 at the age of 12, finally ran away and spoke to the police. Punjaban had turned the girl into a drug addict and had further sold her to two other men, after which she escaped.
6. She has a son named Paras who lives with his grandmother. Sonu Punjaban was last known to be living in an apartment in the area around Saidulajab, in South Delhi. She operated out of her apartment via Whatsapp and received payments through mobile payment apps.
Images: Times Now, Open Magazine
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