| The model being produced in court on Wednesday. Picture by Ramakant Kushwaha
New Delhi, June 11: She arrived on the fashion scene with a bang in 1999 after being crowned Miss Bangalore that year. Ever since, she has reportedly modelled top products across the country.
But the beauty queen allegedly cat-walked from the ramp into the flesh trade two years ago. The story does not quite end there.
With the arrest of Ritu (name changed) from a five-star hotel yesterday, Delhi police claim to have busted a high-profile prostitution racket.
Deputy commissioner of police (crime), Dependra Pathak, said Ritu was apprehended from a five-star hotel following information that some models were engaged in prostitution here.
The crime branch zeroed in on 21-year-old Ritu after tracing her mobile number. Sleuths, posing as customers, fixed a deal for a one-night stand with Ritu for Rs 15,000, with the model demanding Rs 2,000 in advance. When a decoy customer reached the hotel where Ritu had checked in, she took him to her room after collecting the advance.
Pathak said Ritu was arrested in the room in the presence of a witness. The beauty queen was granted bail yesterday after she was produced before a judge in Patiala House court.
Ritu said she and another girl landed in Delhi on May 6 on the instruction of one Lata, who also hails from Bangalore. Police are trying to trace Lata.
A police source said Ritu had been lured into the profession by a well-known lifestyle guru who is also based in Bangalore. Ritu, who attended a boarding school in Ooty and speaks English fluently, is said to have disclosed that there are models in Bangalore and other cities engaging in prostitution to make a fast buck.
Pathak added that Ritu said she had visited the capital to get her portfolio done to present it to producers for a stint in movies and television serials. A source said she was to pay Rs 80, 000 for the portfolio.
The model said she took to prostitution two years ago as she was hard-pressed for money. “She said her family is passing through a financial crisis and she entered the trade when she could not meet the cost of her high-profile lifestyle,” Pathak said.
A police source said Ritu would charge between Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000. In most cases, she would not depend on pimps to solicit clients, doing the job herself through her mobile phone and expanding her client base from customer to customer.
The former Miss Bangalore was very choosy about her clients and had allegedly met seven people during her four-day stay here, police said.
They alleged that Ritu would sashay on the ramp three times a week and slip out to entertain her clients. For each catwalk, she would get Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000.