HYDERABAD: On Tuesday, when police raided a brothel on the city’s outskirts, the client turned out to be an associate professor in Mathematics of Osmania University. If this wasn’t shocking enough, the horrified police officials found that the victim was a 23-year-old B Tech graduate! And the brothel was run by a woman teacher.
Once the cops started talking to the victim, a sorry and sordid tale of financial distress, joblessness and family problems emerged. Police also confirmed that the victim, who is a BTech graduate from the city, had repeatedly failed to secure a regular job.
Though it appears as a one-off incident, police believe it is a result of a deeper malaise of an organised flesh trade network.
“Most often, these girls are led into a trap. On the pretext of a job offer or an online friendship with a stranger, these gullible girls are trapped and then they find it difficult to escape,” said Additional Commissioner (Crimes), Hyderabad, Swati Lakra.
“It is a personal choice some women make. Maybe, due to the lure of quick money and also to maintain a certain kind of lifestyle. There are times when the peer group too influences them,” she added.
Sounding a note of caution, R Rema Rajeswari, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Malkajgiri, said: “A better parental monitoring of children is required more than ever before as the reach of technology into every household via social media platforms and mobile phone apps has changed family equations.”
“Victims are invariably forced into the trade owing to financial distress. Money is a major attraction but in every case, women are trapped,” she said, adding, “In many cases of trafficking, one close family member is involved.”
Echoing similar views, anti-trafficking activist Sunitha Krishnan, added: “With consumerism, technology and sensationisation of glamour etc, the economic divide has disappeared. Every community is equally vulnerable and there is a growing number of literate and educated sex crime victims eg; MBA holders and Intermediate students.”
Ninety per cent of the sex workers are brought into the trade forcefully and the primary mandate of the authorities should be to tackle the crime, which she alleges does not happen, she said. “No girl, that we rescued, ever told us that she did not resist,” she pointed out.
What is worrying for her is the organised nature of the crime. “It is visible at the time of rescue of a victim. And, the efforts, directly and indirectly, to reclaim the victim by the traffickers and the amounts of money that goes in for the same is unbelievable,” she rued.