Porn ban: Business as usual for pornography sellers

In the wake of Centre’s banning of porn sites, mid-day visited several hawkers across South Mumbai and discovered that pornographic material could be easily purchased despite police presence in the vicinity

While various internet service providers blocked over 850 pornographic sites, following the Centre’s diktat yesterday, business went on as usual for roadside hawkers selling pornographic material.

This mid-day correspondent visited several hawkers at various locations across South Mumbai, including Fort, CST, Lamington Road and Grant Road station and easily purchased VCDs and DVDs for anywhere from Rs 50 to Rs 300. Some of these hawkers operated freely despite police presence in their vicinity.

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Pics/Shadab Khan

Fort
The first porn VCD was bought from a hawker operating right below the Empire Plaza building, near Bombay High Court. While the hawker initially refused to show his collection of pornographic material, he took the correspondent into a small lane, adjacent to his shop, and charged R200 for a VCD. When asked about the need for such secrecy, the hawker revealed that it was a tactic he and other sellers used to fool the cops. He claimed that none of the hawkers in the area keep porn material with them but hid it in the neighbouring stores. This he claimed helps them come out clean during police raids.


Crawford market

Purchase of pornographic material here came as a surprise because the hawker from whom the VCD was purchased operated freely, just 100 meters from the police commissionerate and MRA Marg police station. The correspondent left the area after purchasing the VCD for Rs 100.

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Lamington Road

This venture turned out to be the most expensive, as the correspondent had to shell out R300 on a VCD he purchased from a hawker sitting opposite DB Marg police station. The seller appeared to be a smooth operator, ensuring he did not attract attention of the constable stationed next to his shop. After placing an order, the shopkeeper returned within five minutes with the VCD hidden under his shirt.

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Grant Road station

The hawker selling pornographic material here seemed to be the most innovative and tech-savvy of the lot. Instead of selling VCDs and DVDs like others, he directly transferred porn videos and films into the buyer’s cellphone or a pendrive for Rs 50 per GB.

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