Magistrate orders closure of G. B. Road brothel

Magistrate orders closure of G. B. Road brothel

Magistrate orders closure of G. B. Road brothel


In an order passed on Saturday, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Paharganj has directed the closure and eviction of the occupants of the first floor of a kotha on G. B. Road which was being used as a brothel. The SDM said in his order that the brothel was within 200 metres of a school and that the owner of the building should get prior permission from him before leasing out the premises for the next three years.

Acting on an application moved by the Kamla Market SHO under Section 18 of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act, Paharganj SDM Mani Bhushn Malhotra said: “From the perusal of application of SHO Kamla Market and document attached it is clear that the circumstances in which the girls were apprehended / rescued from this premises clearly indicate that the said premises being repeatedly used for the purposes identical to those given in Section 2 (a) of the ITP Act. The averment cited by SHO Kamla Market that this premises is being used as brothel is further strengthened with the fact that minor girls lured from other States have been coerced into prostitution and rescued from this premises.”

[Section 2(a) of the ITP Act defines brothel as any house, room, conveyance or place, or any portion of any house, room, conveyance or place, which is used for purposes of sexual exploitation or abuse for the gain of another person or for the mutual gain of two or more prostitutes.]

Pramod Joshi, the SHO, said in his application that four FIRs were registered against these premises under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for rape, kidnapping, wrongful confinement, assault, buying and selling of minors for prosecution besides various sections of the ITP Act.The brothel owner, who was also the lessee of the premises, raised several objections to the SHO’s application. She said she was a resident of the second floor of the building and had nothing to do with the premises in question; that she was acquitted in one of the cases and charge sheets were not filed in the others cases; that the police had not clarified the exact distance between the public place (school) and the building; and that there was “no live and proximate link between the prejudicial activity and preventive action” being sought.

Mr. Malhotra in his order said the brothel owner, Baby, had appeared in a Tis Hazari Sessions court in response to summons served on her at the first floor address, and that she was acquitted in the case merely on the technical ground that summons issued for the victim in the case and prosecution witnesses went unserved.

The SDM also noted that an FIR was registered as recently as this year for rape, kidnapping and prostitution charges which warranted “preventive measures immediately to stop the reoccurrence of such activities”. Regarding the SHO not invoking the 200 metre contention in his application, the SDM allowed the statement made later by the SHO that this was a case and there was a school in the proximity.

Demand, supply of illicit sex up in State

Flesh trade is thriving in the City of Lakes. Women soliciting clients openly are a common sight in some of the busiest places of the State capital.


Besides, a large number of sex rackets are being run in almost all the posh and well-to-do localities. The practice takes place in an organised manner with the connivance of hotel owners, security personnel and male and female agents. Places like farmhouses, beauty parlours and independent homes in newly built colonies are often used for the purpose. Not only Indians but also westerners are provided to clients. They are available on demand besides television and B movie actresses. The price, however, differs, depending on the service and the attributes of the one providing it.When contacted, Superintendent of Police Abhay Singh, however, said the matter was new to him. However, he assured that action would be taken soon. If one goes to Hamidia Road, one of the busiest places in Walled City, in the evening, they will surely encounter prostitutes waiting on the stretch between Nadira Bus Stand and Bharat Talkies over-bridge. Same is the case in New Bhopal where these women are easily spotted on link roads and near Habibganj station. A pimp, talking on condition of anonymity, revealed the elaborate workings of the illicit business. According to him, the flesh trade prospers courtesy the joint efforts of ‘representatives’ like auto-rickshaw drivers, betel shop owners and dope addicts looking for easy money. Hotels play an important role as these provide cheaper rooms on hourly basis to clients. Women from Mumbai are thronging the State capital after the dance bars were closed in Optimum City. Besides, girls in large numbers from smaller towns nearby also travel up and down to the State capital for this purpose. According to sources, about a dozen sex rackets are run in various parts of the city and have an excess of hundreds of girls under them.

The most unfortunate trend in the city is that of school and college going boys joining the queue of clients who are mostly easy-moneyed people. As intimated by a female sex worker operating in the city area, even boys in school uniforms vie for a chance to engage in this activity. The spread of mobile telephones has facilitated the prostitute who can now satisfy a maximum number of clients in minimum time. Their daily earnings have thus risen nowadays. This, in turn increases, the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and the spread of HIV/AIDS.

SC clarifies scope of case on Sex Workers limited to ‘rehabilitation’

Making it clear that the current attempt of the Supreme Court looking into the various questions involving sex workers and their rehabilitation does not include ‘institutionalizing or regularizing’ the profession, a division bench comprising of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra today said that there should not be any apprehension that the Apex Court was trying to ‘legalize’ the trade.

“We are not into institutionalizing or regularizing the profession… There should not be any apprehension that we are trying to legalize the trade,” the bench said clarifying the scope of the current effort in which the court has sought the involvement of various Ministries, NGOs, legal service associations, and others who would collectively develop a ‘composite plan’ to protect the rights of the sex workers.

The bench today directed to hold a meeting of all parties on May 6 to discuss the problems and issues of the Sixth Interim Report, which has been filed by the Committee appointed by the court, for looking into the various facets involving sex workers and their rehabilitation. The bench asked for identification of problems and working out solutions to the issues.

The apex court constituted panel is headed by senior counsel Pradip Ghosh and includes senior counsel Jayant Bhushan, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, Usha Multipurpose Cooperative Society and Saima Hasan, founder of Roshni as its members. The court’s order came after it took suo motu cognizance of the problems faced by sex workers while dealing with a sex workers’ murder case.

SC clarifies scope of case on Sex Workers limited to ‘rehabilitation’

Sex workers’ children can’t be stigmatised, NCPR tells SC

New Delhi, Apr 18 (PTI) The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) today told the Supreme Court that children of sex workers should be provided special educational facilities under the Right To Education Act, by integrating them with the mainstream society. Commission Chairperson Shantha Sinha, appearing before a special bench of justices Altamas Kabir and Gyan Sudha however, opposed setting up of any special schools for these children as it would be a “greater stigmatisation”. “No, no that will lead to a greater stigmatisation,” she said in response to a query from the bench as to whether special schools could be constituted for children of sex workers. The apex court had earlier constituted a panel comprising senior advocates and representatives of various NGOs to suggest measures to wean away sex workers from the flesh trade and formulate their rehabilitation measures. The NCPCR chairperson said that to avoid stigmatisation of the children of sex workers, authorities should ensure that they do not insist details of the child’s parentage, birth, caste and other details. She further submitted that a congenial atmosphere like sufficient accommodation should be created to the children as otherwise they are bound to be influenced by the activities of their mothers as presently most of the sex workers live in one-room tenements. The apex court had earlier appointed senior advocates Pradeep Ghosh and Jayant Bhushan, to head a special panel to look into the rehabilitation and other measures for sex workers in the country.

Sex workers’ children can’t be stigmatised, NCPR tells SC

Illicit flesh trade lurks in Ranchi nooks & crannies

RANCHI: On March 24, four sex workers were arrested with three of their clients in an area under Chutia police station, who confessed to operating from a hotel on the busy Station Road with the help of pimps. Further revelations under interrogation led to several raids in various hotels, lodges and residential houses in the city but the police rarely found any success as news of the planed raids always managed to leak somehow.

The flourishing sex racket in the city operates through well organised networks with tentacles outside state borders as well. Ranchi police has nevertheless launched a massive crackdown on prostitution in the city and has busted as many as 26 sex rackets over the past one year.The trade has been found to flourish in the guise of massage parlours, dance bars, cabin restaurants and from seedy hotels and residential colonies. Many massage parlours running sex rackets were busted by the police in Booty More, Bariatu, Harmu and East Jail Road areas in the past year. Three massage parlours were busted between November and December last year from Lalpur police station area alone.

Arrested sex workers revealed their customers range from college students to executives from private companies, brought to them through a network of pimps and managers.”In most massage parlours, which use the front of beauty parlours, a well organized sex racket used to run with a specific set of customers,” said Lalpur officer in-charge Phoolan Nath.”The sex workers arrested so far revealed they do not entertain every client but only those who come through proper channels through pimps or other reference contacts,” said Nath.

The death of one Amit Mukherjee, who was shot dead on July 7 last year near Hotel Yuvraj near Rajendra Chowk, also brought to the fore the competitiveness between various networks involved in the trade. Police investigation revealed Mukherjee used to bring over girls from Burdwan and Kolkata for local customers on demand and was running a lucrative network, which irked other racketeers. The girls he brought used to visit customers in hotels, flats and lodges.

Police also stumbled upon the trend of more and more flesh trade rackets operating from posh residential colonies as well lately. Ranchi SSP Praveen Kumar Singh accepts it is a disturbing trend and says police is trying to curb the menace by conducting frequent raids in possible hideouts and intelligence gathering. Singh also accepted such rackets often go unnoticed until residents of a particular area start to smell something fishy and complain. “No such illicit trade can be allowed in any area and police is keeping a close watch on such activities,” said Singh.

Illicit flesh trade lurks in Ranchi nooks & crannies

17 minors rescued from Delhi brothels


NEW DELHI: In one of its biggest crackdowns on Delhi‘s red light district, 72 sex workers, including 17 minors, were rescued from G B Road by the Andhra Pradesh Police in a joint operation with the Delhi Police on Monday morning.

The action came after Andhra Pradesh Police began investigations into a series of complaints from families in the state who claimed their minor daughters had gone missing.

Police managed to zero in on certain brothels on GB road, also known as Swami Shradhanand Marg, after receiving information from a 19-year-old girl who had managed to escape from one of the brothels and return to her home town in Andhra Pradesh. The minor girls were sent for a medical examination to Lok Nayak Hospital on Monday evening. According to NGO Shakti Vahani, who were asked by the police to counsel the rescued sex workers, most of the victims were brought to the city on the pretext of marriage.

“Most of the women confessed that they had eloped with their lovers and wanted to marry them. However, they were sold to brothels in the city. Shockingly, we noticed that almost 80 per cent of the women had eloped with men named ‘Raju’ which hints at a deep-rooted nexus between pimps across the country,” said Subir Roy, director programmes at Shakti Vahani.

Sources in the local police confirmed that most rescued women state in FIRs that they had been sold to brothels by a man named “Raju.”

“Although our investigations are still at a preliminary stage we have found that adopting the name “Raju” is part of the modus operandi of pimps and traffickers across the country. It also suggests that they are all interconnected,” said a police officer who did not wish to be quoted.

Recent data collected by another local NGO Bhartiya Patiti Udhar Sabha claimed that Delhi has 4,500 sex workers living at 108 brothels. These brothels adhere to a strict hierarchy.

While “managers” are usually male members involved in trafficking and getting clients, “nayeekas” are senior sex workers who look after the day-to-day assignments of “lochees” and take a commission for every customer but rarely entertain customers themselves. Lochees reportedly are ‘bonded girls’ who serve customers in return for food and shelter.

Police claimed to have busted a sex racket with the arrest of a woman during a raid at a brothel, operating from an apartment in Masabtank area in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Two women, including an Uzbekistan national, were rescued from the brothel during the raid, police said. Based on a a tip-off, the sleuths of Commissioner’s Task Force (West Zone) raided the apartment and nabbed one Asha Singh and rescued the Uzbekistan national and another woman hailing from Delhi, Task Force Deputy Commissioner of Police C H Ramchander said. “Due to financial problems, Asha had decided to make quick money by allegedly indulging in the bussiness of prostitution and was used to bring sex workers for one week to Hyderabad on commission basis from Mumbai,” the DCP said. Further investigations are on, he said.

Where men pimp for their daughters, sisters


Mumbai: Every evening, the roads along Bharatpur district in Rajasthan are lit by lanterns and flashlights held by sex workers trying to attract customers. The girls are accompanied by their brothers or fathers who haggle with truck drivers to fix a price for the sex workers, who are often between 13 and 15 years.

While many of us may recoil in disgust at the practice of family members pimping their underage relatives, the initiation of adolescent girls in the flesh trade by their own kin is an accepted norm in Bharatpur. Here, women are expected to sell their bodies to support their families in which the men have no other work but to find customers for their sisters and daughters.

The custom is now the subject of a documentary Trapped by Tradition, which is made by American television news channel CNN International. The 30-minute film follows actor-producer Anil Kapoor to a village in Bharatpur, where he examines how poverty, illiteracy and social pressures have contributed to the tradition of trafficking female children.

As the women share ghastly tales of exploitation and helplessness, Kapoor also lends a ear to the male members to understand why sexual exploitation of minor girls is sanctioned by society. “In today’s modern world, this practice is unacceptable. We should do whatever we can to eradicate it completely,” said Kapoor, who has been involved in campaigns against human trafficking for the past several years with Plan India, an organisation working to protect children against abuse and exploitation.

“It was clear that we must change the mindset of the people. They had to understand there are other options,” he added. Kapoor has now noticed a growing awareness in the community, something that was missing two years ago when he last visited Bharatpur. A little girl told him she wants to study and become an actress.

Kapoor believes that through education people will learn about lifestyle choices outside Bharatpur and India’s sex trade.

The documentary will be premiered on CNN International on September 24.

The difficult choices for India’s sex workers

Prostitution legal and regulated Prostitution ...

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Recently, India’s Supreme Court set up a panel to investigate ways to prevent human trafficking, as well as the rehabilitation of sex workers into other vocations.  In addition, Justice Markandey Katju said that sex workers had a right to live with dignity if they chose to stay in their profession. Despite India’s socially conservative culture, sex workers can be found everywhere in India – from the largest metropolist to the humblist truck stoy.  The Ministry of Women and Child Development admits that there are an estimated 3 million commercial sex workers in India.  NGO’s put that number much higher – at around 20 million, and claim that more than 35% of them entered the trade before they were 18.  But can the Supreme Court panel do anything concrete to help those most in need of it?

Amrita Nandy for The Women’s Feature Service has this report

NGO’s say that sex workers repeatedly and desperately request the chance to get out of the business and earn their livelihoods in different ways.  But finding work for often unskilled or illiterate people that pays as well as sex work is no easy matter.

‘Don’t hate this work’
Asked if she would take up the rehabilitation scheme, 31-year-old Sonam says, “Why not? If the new job can give me as much money as this one, I am willing to give this up right away! But I do not hate this work. I could buy a two-room house in Delhi and send my daughter to a private school because of this work. It is not begging… I work hard to earn a living.”

Sonam came to Delhi at 15 and was pushed into sex work. She says that at first she was unhappy and longed to go back home, but life in the brothel became comfortable because her madam treated her like a daughter. “This ‘kotha’ and its people are home and family now,” she says.

In the slums of east Delhi, 54-year-old Payal is a sex worker as well as a female pimp. “This is no age for sex work but do I have an option? I tried stitching and still take on work like this (pointing to a pile of clothes) but I can barely survive with it,” she says.

Payal is positive about the rehabilitation scheme and says she is tired of her dual life, where she has to hide her work from her husband, children, parents, neighbours and even some peers. “They all know I pimp but not that I am a sex worker. Sex work gives a woman better money but takes away her ‘izzat‘ (honour) and family. But I want ‘izzat‘ now. People should know that I am a good person, a loving mother,” she says.

Despite the willingness of most sex workers to take up other professions, the profession remains the most economically attractive option for illiterate women, according to the first pan-India survey of sex workers. Moreover, many sex workers often have two or three jobs simultaneously.  A domestic worker could moonlight as a sex worker, or a woman working on a factory line may, on the side also be offering sexual services to senior colleagues.

Ageing sex workers often find it difficult to live off their dwindling earnings.  Lalli was five when she was brought into Delhi’s red light district. “Before I die, I want to see a different life. So training me in stitching or something is fine but they must give us houses to live in and find us work too. That will be complete rehabilitation,” she says tearfully.

She knows that banning prostitution isn’t a solution, “Sex work can never be abolished. So it is best to allow sex workers who wish to continue carry on, but improve their living conditions.”

29-year-old Fauzia, a home-based sex worker, is cynical of the rehabilitation scheme. She believes it is a step towards abolition. She recounts the story of her friend who was forced into a remand home by authorities.

“I work out of my madam’s house and visit clients at theirs. My monthly earning lets me pay my house rent and educate my son. And I am paying EMIs (Easy Monthly Installments) for a small plot of land I have bought. I am illiterate, how can I find any other job that gives me as much? I plan to continue this work as long as I am young… will think of substitutes when I am older or if my family comes to know and I am forced to quit,” she says.

However, the Supreme Court bench is taking measures not to employ forceful measures towards sex workers. The court order clearly states that sex workers cannot be forced to stay in corrective homes to undergo vocational training under the rehabilitation schemes.

(All names have been changed on request.)

(© Women’s Feature Service)

Tackling the problem of prostitution

A detail from plate 1 of William Hogarth's (16...

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Amendment to the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act 1956 is in the making for over two years. Going by the modern standards of performance evaluation, it seems the voting public are getting too little work done by their representatives. The representatives are indecisive on what steps to take.

Prostitution per se is not illegal or criminalised in India but soliciting and trafficking is. The justification for such a dichotomy is as usual safely nestled in age-old beliefs, practices and religion. The law aims to protect the victim without punishing the perpetrators. Prostitution as a means of livelihood is exploitative, repressive and inhuman.

One amendment being heavily debated is whether the client — in effect the demand side — should be punished. Sweden has had some success in bringing down trafficking when it criminalised buying sex. Britain is also considering the move seriously. The argument advanced against this in India is that it would lead to more surreptitiousness and place the victims further at the mercy of police.

Sadly the poorer (weaker) argument is that it would affect livelihood of the sex workers. Does it mean that the government is there only to wring its hands and watch helplessly as people are traded like commodities, forced into a ‘profession’ which can hardly be called that?

Amnesty schemes for tax evaders or defaulters pave the way to legalise their illegal wealth. Why not a scheme to rehabilitate these workers to help them break the vicious cycle of poverty and coercion which condemns them to a life of disease and disrespect?

The entire approach is heavily tilted towards the effect and not the cause. Instead of catering to the ‘vote bank’ minorities, we should address this community which has little voice and a lot to complain about. This is a group which cannot organise itself, burn buses or issue threats to disrupt public life. A realistic solution would be alternative employment and focused provision of basic facilities.

The high profile campaign for the prevention of AIDS can at least in part be diverted to addressing the circumstances which force hapless people into sex trade.

Prostitution is still treated as some ‘foreign’ disease whereas it is, and must be recognised as, a ‘man made’ social evil. The policy and legal framework is to treat it and hardly to root it out. We never find any political leader or public figure taking a stand asking the youth to practise restraint or fidelity. If the ‘supply’ side is too dark and difficult to control, at least the demand can be attacked.

India is blessed with stability and order compared with countries torn by civil war, political instability and the like. It just requires the administration to be committed and interventionist. But given the approach of the establishment which rushes to ban bar dancers rather than bars, maybe it is too much to ask.

We have seen governments steamroll opposition from environmentalists, workers, coalition partners when it comes to economic and political agenda such as SEZs, privatisation or land acquisition but hardly are proactive when it comes to the unfinished social agenda. We have places categorised as ‘red light’ areas beyond the reach of the long arm of the state. Perhaps we can even have areas demarcated for fake currencies, drugs, arms, antiques and so on.

The absence of social anger and condemnation despite having full knowledge of its stigma and consequences remains an enigma. Why do we hesitate to say that, in the first place, it is wrong? Society needs values and they should not be contingent on convenience, laws and individual preference. Larger social interest cannot be held ransom to individual immorality.