Two sex rackets busted in Guwahati
GUWAHATI: In recent years, the trend of opening beauty spas and body massage parlours has caught on well in Guwahati with a fair number of them gaining popularity among their customers and patrons.
Meanwhile, many new hotels and lodges have also flourished in the city extending the business of hospitality to a loyal clientele. But certain spas, salons and hotels/lodges are also always under police scanner due to various purported illegal and immoral activities that take place there.
This week, two major alleged sex rackets were busted in the city in two separate raids conducted by the city police.
On 7th June 2018, a joint team of crime branch sleuths and Paltan Bazar police raided one establishment called Infinity Spa which was operating as a unisex salon near KFC in Paltan Bazar. 10 girls were detained from the spa but were later released after interrogation. The owner of the spa, Ashu Singh and the manager Vijay Kumar, were arrested under immoral trafficking prevention act and have been forwarded to judicial custody.
In another incident, a team of Basistha police headed by the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mousumi Kalita, raided a lodge (KB Lodge) at 9th Mile near Jorabat and arrested 7 women and 5 men. Later, the owner of the lodge, PK Baruah, was also arrested.
ACP Kalita said, “We had raided the lodge earlier as well after getting information that immoral activities take place there but could never get hold of any proper evidence.” This time the police planted two customers who tipped them off for a successful raid.
On 7th June, the police team raided the lodge at around 7 pm. The police source said, “The arrested were caught red-handed in compromising positions.”
The Basistha police also recovered some used and unused condoms from the rooms of the lodge.
The local police sources revealed that the arrested girls had pacts with the lodge’s employees who used to call them over as per the requirements of the customers. The girls used to visit the lodge for around 2 to 3 hours according to the customers’ requirement. The women arrested belonged to places like Guwahati, Barpeta, upper Assam and Manipur. Police sources said that two among the arrested women were married.
As for the spa that was raided at Paltan Bazar, the police did not find any customer during the raid.
It’s a conspiracy, says Paltan Bazar spa owner
Though the police arrested the owner and the manager of Infinity Spa, the owner claimed that it was a conspiracy against him.
The owner, Ashu Singh, talking to G Plus while in judicial custody said, “Five days ago an employee of the spa resigned after a quarrel with the manager as she wanted an increase in her salary.” He revealed that the lady had contacts at high levels and had threatened that she would not allow the spa to operate anymore.
The owner further said that the spa is just a few metres away from the Paltan Bazar police station and it is located on the ground floor. Therefore, it was next to impossible for any such illegal or immoral activities to take place in his establishment.
Singh said, “There are only two rooms in the spa - one operates as a parlour and the other is the massage room. Both the rooms do not have locks from the inside on the doors.” He also said that there are CCTV cameras and so the investigating agencies can even check the footages.
A source in Paltan Bazar police said, “We recovered two unused condoms from one of the rooms.” What is the use of condoms in a spa, the source questioned?
But the police did not find any male customer in the spa during the raid.
Proving immoral activities is tough: Police
The police said that in cases of immoral activities, it is very difficult to prove the crime.
A senior police official in the Police Commissionerate said, “After the accused are arrested, they deny being involved in any such activity.”
The police said that the accused easily get bail and later again get involved in such activities.
In the recently raided Paltan Bazar spa case, the detained women did not admit to any crime during interrogation. Similarly, even the arrested owner and the manager did not own up to any crime, a police source in Paltan Bazar said.
It is mostly poor girls who are brought from other states with promises of jobs and a better life and later they are forced into the business of flesh trade.
The age group of the sex workers in the city is mostly between 16 and 21. They get into the business and some specific houses in the city are used for the sexual activities. However, to get customers the sex workers wait at certain pickup points in the evenings. The pickup points are mostly at the populated junctions and markets where a huge nexus works together to lure customers who are then taken to hotels or the houses where the activity takes place.
She said that many such persons even start working in spas and parlours and later get involved in immoral activities.
When a decent flow of money comes in as earnings, they tend not to leave the business.
But whenever they are caught, they do not admit to the crime and the police find it tough to prove the case, the police official said.