A massive prostitution racket was busted in the Turbhe township of Navi Mumbai late Saturday, an official said here Sunday
As many as 116 girls were rescued from the spot in a joint operation by Navi Mumbai police and two NGOs.
"Of the 116 women rescued from the spot, 26 are minors. However, their exact age will be ascertained only after medical examination," said Afzal Khan, President of Adarsh Samaj Sevak Sangh, an NGO working for the cause.
Another NGO called Rescue Foundation had also responded to the quick tip-off and helped with the rescue operations.
According to police officials, the flesh trade had been going on in the area since several years. However, the place was cleared out whenever police went to raid the premises.
Khan said that the spot in Turbhe is very remote and surrounded by a hill, making it difficult for the girls to escape quickly from the spot. "Hence, they are mostly trapped and if they try to escape, they are caught and brought back into the flesh trade. There are not many residences around and those who stay close to the place are mostly pimps," Khan told IANS.
Khan said that he, along with Deputy Commissioner of Police Purshottam Karad had been casing the place since the last three months and it was with the help of Karad that they were finally able to conduct a raid and expose the sex racket.
Saturday's operation follows similar raids in Mumbai over the past week.
On Thursday, 333 women were rescued from brothels in south Mumbai and 127 men were arrested in the case in an operation led by Mumbai Additional Commissioner of Police Krushna Prakash.
On Tuesday, a team led by Prakash had busted a massage parlour doubling as a prostitution den in Ballard Pier in south Mumbai. Three girls were rescued and four men were arrested.