Business as usual on Gurgaon's Mall Mile

Shady people throng this stretch after sunset to carry out illegal activities

Business as usual on Gurgaon's Mall Mile

Thousands of people cross the Delhi-Gurgaon border through the day to visit Gurgaon's famous ‘Mall Mile’, a mall-lined stretch on the Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road near IFFCO Chowk.

Locals, however, claim that the area  comes alive only after dark: apart from visitors to the malls, there are people thronging the area to carry out illgal activities.

Driving down the stretch late at night seems to prove the allegations. Young women and eunuchs approach the car. “They stand outside the malls and the area becomes what people call a pick-up point for prostitutes. All this takes place with police present in the vicinity,” says Diwakar Sharma, a local resident.  

In a recent development, six women were arrested from a pub in one of the malls after they were found involved in prostitution. The pub owner, manager and other key employees were susequently apprehended. 
 
According to a youth who wished to remain anonymous, it is easy to get a woman to dance along and act as an escort in the pubs and discotheques for as little as Rs 500. “You need to cough up money to strike a conversation with these women. If things work out, you can take them home,” he says.

Taxi drivers can also be seen waiting outside the malls, acting as pimps. They claim to provide college girls for “entertainment”. It is pertinent to mention that many of these taxis also ferry BPO employees, including women working on night shifts.

“We notice sex workers seeking customers in the area on a daily basis, but the mall authorities are helpless when it comes to dealing with such activities,” says a security guard with Metropolitan mall.

One can spot the odd police control room van on duty, but that is no deterrent to the young men arriving in expensive cars and motorcycles. A Gurgaon Police constable deployed outside the mall says though police are aware of the activities, they can do nothing but watch helplessly.

“We react only when we get a distress call,” the officer says.

Locals have been raising their voices for strong police action against women working as sex workers and men who misbehave with passers-by. “We have had enough of the nuisance created by anti-social elements. Sex workers make it uncomfortable for men who are on a regular visit to the area,” says local resident Rajat Pandey.  

Himani Gupta, an MNC employee, says the entire stretch has become unsafe for women. After a recent incident of misbehaviour, she has stopped passing through the area alone after dark.

“It is certainly not safe to venture in the area after 9 pm. Though there is presence of police teams, they do not attempt to prevent such incidents from happening,” she says.
Local residents have been opposing timings of the pubs and discotheques which extend to 2 am.

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