Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat, IPS officer from Telangana was conferred with the 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Heroes Award by the Unites States Department of State. He is third IPS officer to get this honour.
He was awarded for his vital role in elevating human trafficking as a government priority and his innovative approach to investigating cases and dismantling human trafficking operations.
Currently, Mahesh Bhagwat is Police Commissioner of Rachakonda, one of the three Police Commissionerates located in Hyderabad.
Accomplishment of Mahesh Bhagwat
He was central figure in anti-trafficking operations that have removed hundreds of victims from situations of trafficking, and with the help of other government departments and civil society organisations, ensured their placement in rehabilitation programmes.
He has pioneered the use of legal provisions to close sites where trafficking is known to occur. Under his command, the Rachakonda Police Commissionerate had closed 25 brothels – 20 residential apartments and five hotels- in less than a year. The Commissionerate also had participated in one of the largest crackdowns on labour trafficking in the country, which had led to the identification and rescue of more than 350 children bonded forcibly to work in brick kilns
About Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Heroes Award
Each year, the US Department of State honours individuals around the world who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking. These individuals may be lawmakers, police officers, NGO workers and concerned citizens who are committed to ending modern slavery. The award recognizes their tireless efforts—despite opposition, resistance and threats to their lives to protect victims, punish offenders, and raise awareness of ongoing criminal practices in their countries and abroad.