CHENNAI: The city police have busted an elaborate prostitution racket stretching from Darjeeling in West Bengal to Delhi and finally Dindigul in Tamil Nadu. Four people were arrested and three girls, including a minor, from a village near Darjeeling who were forced into the sex trade were rescued and handed over to their families. A hunt is on for two others in connection with the case. A week ago, the anti-vice squad (AVS) of the CB-CID police arrested Kabitha alias Kavitha, 32, of Malbusti near Darjeeling, Sandeep Sharma, 22, and his wife Kalpana Kumari, 32, of Delhi and Sheik Masthan, 40, of Dindigul. Later, Sharma, Masthan and Kumari were detained under the Goondas Act.
Inquiries revealed that Kabitha, whose village Malbusti is close to Pathar Joda where the girls resided, promised them jobs in beauty parlours in Chennai or Delhi. The girls, whose parents work in tea estates near Darjeeling, believed her. Kabitha took them to Kalpana Kumari’s house in Sarita Vihar near Delhi where they stayed for a few days before being brought to Dindigul and handed over to Masthan. They were then taken to Kodaikanal and confined in a hotel for more than 15 days, police said. In the hotel, police said, they were forced to entertain 1-3 customers a day and the pimps collected about 10,000 a night. One of the girls befriended a customer and with his help spoke to her father Prakash Chettri in Pathar Joda and told him of their plight in Kodaikanal. Chettri then approached the police in Delhi where the girls had stayed with Kumari and her husband Sharma.
A Delhi police team soon nabbed Kumari and her husband and brought them to Chennai with Chettri. They went to Dindigul, where Masthan handed over the three girls to the Delhi police. Chettri also lodged a formal complaint with the AVS in the central crime branch of the Chennai police. Based on the complaint, police arrested Sandeep Sharma and Kalpana Kumari for forcing a minor girl and two others into prostitution. The girls were handed over to their parents after a medical check-up. A confidential statement was taken in front of a magistrate under Section 164 of the Evidence Act.
The case was then forwarded to the CB-CID who narrowed down on Kabitha and nabbed her from village. Police said Sharma and Kumari had sold the three girls to Masthan for 88,000, of which they gave 47,000 to Kabitha.