Cops say television artiste and agent used to regularly visit five-star hotel from where they were arrested

Small-time silver screen actress who was arrested in a raid on Saturday night, for allegedly running a high-profile sex racket in a multi star hotel, was sent to magisterial custody yesterday. Twenty-one-year-old Azhara Jan Gulam Ahmed Sheikh alias Zara, a native of Kashmir, has been arrested along with film industry spot boy Niraj Ashok Badhani (27), an alleged pimp, under Sections 4, 5, 8 of Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act, (PITA) 1986.

Racket busted: A video grab of television actress Azhara Jan Gulam
Ahmed Sheikh alias Zara; spot boy Niraj Ashok Badhani is
produced in court yesterday. pic/krunal gosavi

The case has been registered with the Bundgarden police station and Badhani has been remanded in police custody till November 23. When both were produced before the holiday court, public prosecutor argued in favour of Zara's police custody, stating that it was essential to probe if there were conspirators in the racket.
Public prosecutor also argued that the investigating agency should verify her call details. The demand by prosecution was however rejected and Zara was sent to magisterial custody. Badhani however, has been remanded in police custody.

Acting on a tip-off to constable Ashok Takalkar, the social security cell of crime branch led by inspector Bhanupratap Barge laid a trap through a decoy and nabbed them at a five-star hotel on Raja Bahadur Mill Road.
According to the police, Badhani, who allegedly works as Zara's agent, had come to the city in a rented car and checked into a room following which they were arrested.

According to Barge, the actress charged Rs 1.5 lakh per hour from customers. The hotel register revealed that she had visited the place often with Badhani. Zara told the police that she has acted in several TV serials including Kasauti Zindagi Ki and also played a role in the Hindi film, Lamha.

What PITA says
Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act, 1986
Section 4: Punishment for living on the earnings of prostitution
Section 5: Procuring inducing or taking person for the prostitution
Section 8: Seducing and soliciting for prostitution