Sleaze racket busted in parlour raids
The anti-human trafficking unit of Calcutta police busted a sleaze racket that was allegedly being run from four beauty parlours and arrested 30 people and rescued as many women on Sunday.
The parlours, which the police said were being operated as family salons, were located on Prince Anwar Shah Road in Jadavpur, Bhagwan Mahavir Sarani in Bhowanipore, Rashbehari Avenue and Mirza Ghalib Street in New Market.
Sources said the managers of the parlour in Gariahat had engaged women from Thailand to serve their customers.
The accused, including parlour managers and pimps, have been booked under the Prevention of the Immoral Trafficking Act and the Indian Penal Code section related to criminal conspiracy.
“We had specific information that illegal activities were going on in these beauty parlours. All 30 women who were engaged by the racketeers have been rescued. Some were from Thailand, while a few were from other states in India,” an officer of the detective department said.
Sleaze dens were earlier restricted to certain pockets in Calcutta but now they have struck roots in residential areas across the city.
Earlier this month, a 17-year-old girl who had allegedly been forced into prostitution was rescued from an apartment in a housing complex on the southwestern fringe of the city.
On November 1, a 14-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman were rescued from an apartment in Behala.
Sources said many of the women who had been rescued from prostitution had to return to the profession in the absence of any livelihood package from the state government.
“These women join prostitution mostly because of their socio-economic condition. Even after they are rescued, the stigma attached to them and their financial status force them back into the trade. What is surprising is that so many women are engaged in the trade in the heart of the city,” said an officer of the anti-human trafficking unit.
A recent report compiled by an NGO states that 31 per cent of the people arrested in connection with 50 trafficking rackets busted in Bengal are women aged between 20 and 55. Of the 111 victims rescued, 42 per cent were minors aged between 13 and 17.