four km key stretch in the heart of South Delhi is giving the Capital’s police a splitting headache.
After the shutters of high-end showrooms in Hauz Khas and Green Park come down, this otherwise busy street turns into a hub of flesh trade that can give a Bangkok red light district a run for its money.
From Hauz Khas market to Green Park and further up till AIIMS, Aurobindo Marg is taken over by scores of sex workers every night, even though it’s a well-secured zone with a solid police presence.
Mail Today visited this stretch on Friday night and found dozens of sex workers organised into different groups, each headed by a ‘supervisor’ who not only collects money on their behalf but also looks after logistics and transportation of the women involved in the flesh trade.
“Once picked up from the spot, customers are required to drop back the women at the same place. Payment is made in advance,” said one ‘organiser’ near Hauz Khas Metro station.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Romil Baaniya admitted that illegal sex trade is rampant on Aurobindo Marg, and promised swift action in the matter. “We will constitute special teams to crack down on such illegal activities,” he said.
Mail Today discovered that many of the sex workers were foreigners and even eunuchs – all part of a brisk business operating just 300 meters from the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) and the Hauz Khas police station.
They were found at the entry/exit points of Metro stations, bus shelters and outside some prominent showrooms – looking out for potential customers.
“Since there are foreigners involved in the flesh trade, we have taken up the matter with the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO). Foreigners caught in this illegal practice need to be deported immediately,” DCP Baaniya said.
The Mail Today team found that ‘business’ continues from 11.30 pm till 4 am in the morning. Local residents said people come in cars, strike a deal and leave the spot with their chosen ones.
“Post 11 pm, these sex workers can be seen all around Hauz Khas and Green Park. People coming out of the pubs and bars in Hauz Khas are their prime targets,” said Nirbhay Anand, a resident of H-Block in Hauz Khas. When approached, a sex worker said that charges vary from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000, depending on the time spent.
She revealed that a majority of the sex workers stay in rented accommodation in areas like Pandav Nagar and Chhattarpur.
“Due to safety concerns, we prefer going to our own flats than going to customers’ houses,” she said.
The eunuchs play an active role in running the whole business, often doubling up as pimps looking out for customers and striking deals with them. The entire operation takes place under the watchful eyes of the so-called ‘supervisors’.
Mail Today found few of them sitting inside cars parked on the roadside. One was perched on a wheelchair, posing as a disabled person, but walked off coolly at the close of ‘business hours’.
Through much of the night Mail Today spent in the area, there was hardly any police intervention.
Around 1.30 am, a PCR van appeared for a routine patrol and the sex workers disappeared into thin air. However, in a matter of 30 minutes they were back, and it was business as usual.