Tension prevailed in Sunder Nagar area of the city on Tuesday morning when local residents set on fire a house, alleging that a sex racket was being run from there.
The police fired shots in the air and also resorted to lathicharge to disperse the mob. A dozen police personnel and two photojournalists sustained injuries as the mob climbed rooftops and hurled stones in protest against the police’s ‘soft’ approach towards illegal operators of the sex racket. Superintendent of police (SP, city) Naresh Dogra was among those injured in the melee.
On Monday night, some persons said to be close to a woman named Babita -- who is accused of running the prostitution business -- entered the house of one Ajit Singh, who had reported the illegal activities to the police, and manhandled him. When he reported the incident to other residents, they gathered outside Babita’s house and asked her to come out. When she did not do so, people ransacked her house on Tuesday morning and set it ablaze. The woman and her accomplice escaped through a rear door. The police reached the spot and tried to control the residents, but they also pelted the cops with stones. As a result, the cops resorted to lathicharge and firing in the air.
In October last year, the police had busted a sex racket in the house and arrested four women and a man from the spot. However, the alleged sex racket operator had secured bail.
The Model Town police reportedly rounded up at least four women regarding Tuesday’s incident, even as station house officer Bharat Masih said no arrest had been made so far. He said a case had been registered against 25 persons by name and 150 unidentified persons for rioting, house trespass, assault on public servants, and criminal conspiracy.