Big raid will deter brothel owners, say cops; Not much change on the ground

The arrest of a couple running brothels on GB Road is expected to deal a heavy blow to the flesh trade in Delhi’s infamous red-light district, police said.

Saira Begum and her husband Afaq Hussain controlled around 50 per cent of the business on GB Road, according to police. They were arrested in a Crime Branch raid along with their six accomplices on August 25.

Police officers posted at GB Road said that since the duo were among the handful of people running the entire prostitution business, their arrest will scare other operatives, and they will lie low for some time.

The impact of the arrest however didn’t reflect on ground on Tuesday as pimps were seen soliciting customers and sex workers peered down through the open windows of their first-floor kothas, signalling to potential customers on the road.

“On the ground the situation looks normal. But the brothel owners will stop bringing new girls, as this could lead them in trouble,” said a police officer.

A newbie in the sex trade, Vikas, 19, is a pimp who has been working for kotha No.43 for the last two years. He has been taking three or four clients to the kotha every day and doesn’t see any difference in his business because of the raid.

“I have never seen either Saira or her husband, but have heard about the raid. I don’t see any impact of it in our business,” Vikas said.

The girls who are brought here from all over the country and neighbouring Nepal are usually first put up in houses in different parts of the city, like Laxmi Nagar and Majnu Ka Tilla.

“From their native places these girls are being brought to the capital under the pretext of providing them domestic work. Here the agents put them up in residential accommodation and gradually introduce them to clients, in a process to make them used to the business,” said a police officer.

Industry traumatised

Most of the girls accept their initiation into the sex industry as they have already been traumatised and any form of work to them is a means of survival.

“The agents who are spread all over the country specifically choose girls who have either lost their parents or their parents are so poor that they can’t afford their upbringing,” the officer added.

Once the agents think that the trafficked girl has become ready for full-time work in the sex trade, she is brought to GB Road – but only after extracting a heavy price from the kotha owners.

The girls, already initiated into the trade, don’t protest over their sale, the police officer said. “Police intervene only when the girls are minor or they complain about being forcibly brought here. Due to their social and psychological situation that situation rarely arises,” he added.

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