Alert residents nip flesh trade racket in the bud

Feb 04, 2013, 07:16 IST | Anup Satphale

Unknown faces visiting two flats in building block in Vadgaon Sheri during odd hours prompts residents to alert police; cops arrest five women and six men and are on the lookout for the owners of the flats

Suspicions aroused by unknown faces constantly visiting two flats in their housing society during odd hours, prompting residents to band together and alert the police. The Ramwadi police responded yesterday morning and while conducting a surprise check of a flat on the seventh floor and another on the ninth floor of the A7 building in Kumar Primavera Society in Vadgaon Sheri, they stumbled upon a tricky situation. 

Swift action: Police escort the women who were rescued from the two flats during a surprise check at Kumar Primavera Society in Vadgaon Sheri yesterday morning. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

They rescued five young women and arrested six men involved in sex trade. Though the group claimed to be tenants of the flats, they were unable to produce rental agreements. The other glitch is that the police and other residents of the society are clueless as to who owns the two flats. The police are currently coordinating with the builder to ascertain who the owners are.

Nipped in the bud: The Kumar Primavera Society in Vadgaon Sheri from where five women were rescued by the Ramwadi police yesterday morning. 
Pic/Krunal Gosavi

Doubts began stirring amongst residents of the society after they saw cars pulling up to the building late at night and women and men making their way to the flats. Concerned residents discussed the matter and since they were unable to contact the owner, as the society is fairly new and no committee has been formed yet, they informed the police.

“I was taking a walk after dinner and saw some cars entering the society and stopping near A7 building. A few women and men exited the vehicles and went into the building. I felt something suspicious was going on when this happened a second time,” said a resident of Kumar Primavera Society.

Another resident from the society said, “I also observed vehicles coming late at night and heading towards A7 building. A meeting was called to discuss the matter, and I was surprised to hear that several other residents also felt something fishy was going on. When we asked the people residing in the flats about the constant stream of visitors, they said that they were running a hotel business. Another time they said they were working class people, which further raised our suspicions. We then decided to inform the police.”

When asked who owned the flats in question, residents said that the society is yet to form a committee and therefore donot have contact details of the flat owners. “All the flats in the area are rented out by brokers. Sometimes the owners don’t know who is residing their flats. They simply prefer to get their monthly rent and do not check to see who their tenants are,” said another resident on condition of anonymity.

V T Patil, PSI of Ramwadi police chowky said that the five women and six men will be produced in court today. “Most of those arrested are from Nepal, and one each from Maharashtra and Orissa. Residents of the society alerted us after they felt something suspicious was going on. We rescued five women after raiding the flats and booked all of them under sections 4 and 5 of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA),” Patil said.

When asked about those arrested being unable to produce relevant documents to prove they were tenants, Patil said, “The area is developing fast and is isolated. Considering the manpower we have, it is difficult to keep a check whether each and every tenant is registered. But we are doing it to a certain extent.”

When posed the same question, Manoj Patil, DCP (Zone IV) said, “We are continuously taking action against flat owners for not registering tenants with the police. This is a continuous process and we are doing it. We have also taken action against owners for not registering tenants.” 

17-yr-old rescued
In a joint effort between officials of the Faraskhana police station and Social Security Cell (SSC), a 17-year-old girl was rescued from a brothel in Budhwar Peth on Saturday. The girl was allegedly forced into prostitution by Seema Tamang (58). The victim was forcefully kept at the place for the last two months. She was kidnapped from West Bengal and was sold to Tamang by her abductors. Tamang was arrested and booked under Sections 344(Wrongful Confinement), 363(Kidnapping), 366 (A)(Kidnapping with intent), 372(Selling Minor), 373(Buying Minor for Prostitution), 323(Voluntarily causing hurt) and 34(Act done by several persons) of the IPC and Section 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA).

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