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.
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