Secret cavities are new hideouts for bar girls

MUMBAI: The trend of hiding bar girls in “a cavity inside a cavity” built in bars, are proving a headache for police teams raiding such places that often illegally double as dance bars and prostitution dens.

More and more beer bar owners indulging in late night dance bars and prostitution rackets are hiding the girls in the false cavities.

Assistant commissioner of police Vasant Dhoble and his team raided the bar on Sahar Road after they learnt that the owners were illegally running a dance bar as well as a prostitution racket at the place.

Two managers and three employees of the bar, Rohit Shetty, Srikant Patil, Raju Deshmukh, Uday Shetty and Mohan Gowda, have been arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act ( PITA) and remanded in police custody. The eight bar girls were sent to a shelter in Chembur for rehabilitation, said Dhoble.

Explaining how they chanced upon the hiding place, the ACP said, “Initially, we could not find any girl inside the bar and I was surprised as my source seemed to be very confident when giving me the tip-off about the prostitution racket.” Not ready to give up, Dhoble started examining the walls and went inside the kitchen. There, he found a small door leading to a cavity. “The door was so small that it was difficult to pass through it,” he said. As Dhoble and his team squeezed inside the narrow passage, they stumbled upon a staffer “pretending to be sleeping there”. However, the employee reportedly refused to answer any question.

Inside the narrow passage, Dhoble noticed another 2X2 sq-ft door on the wall. “It was difficult to break the door, which was locked from inside. As the entrance was very narrow, all I could do was insert my mobile and take a picture. In the image, I saw several girls, huddled inside, trying to hide their faces. Later, the girls were brought out of there,” he said.

In the past several bars have been found hiding bars girls inside false cavities. Last year the social service branch (SSB) had written to the BMC as well as the local police, asking them to search the beer bars in their respective areas and keep a record of the layout plan ready in case of emergencies.


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