In a shocking incident, Pune Rural Police detained more than 50 couples after raiding more than 15 lodges, hotels and dhabas on Pune-Sinhgad road on Sunday night. Most of the detained include college going boys and girls and IT professionals.
Confirming this with Hindustan Times, District Superintendent of Police Vishwas Nanagare-Patil said that action was taken after the large-scale complaints and feedback that an organised prostitution racket was in run at several hotels and dhabas on the Sinhgad road, which mushrooms in the weekends.
According to Nangare-Patil five women were arrested while cases have been registered against more than 100 people, including men and women. They were booked under section 110 (indecent behaviour at public place) of Indian Penal Code (IPC). Five commercial sex workers have been arrested under Immoral Trafficking Act, police said.
Nangare-Patil said that the secret operation was being carried out for almost five hours, which began at 6.00 pm. As many as 15 lodges, hotels and dhabas on Sinhagad road were raided simultaneously without the knowledge of the local police station. Nangare-Patil called a meeting of selected police officers at 4.00 pm and briefed them about the operation. According to Nangare-Patil around 150 police personnel, in ten groups, participated in the action. The couples, who failed to give satisfactory explanation were taken to the police station while married couples were released. He said that the parents and family members of the couples were called at the police station.
Nangare-Patil said that the entire operation was captured in video as it was conducted as a pre-cautionary measure. At one lodge, police also found a video photographer and a model shooting, who were also arrested.
Police sources said that as many 30 illegal lodges and dhabas are in the run on Sinhgad road. Most of them hire rooms and shelters on an hourly basis, which was causing nuisance to the local residents. Police sources said that some married women were also arrested during the operation.
The police on Monday said that action will be taken against those people who were running the hotels without legal permission.
Dr Vidyadhar Watve, a psychiatrist for almost three decades said that easy and fast money is the basic reason behind these kinds of incidents. "They have salary into thousands, have five days week and have no responsibilities," Dr Watve said adding that IT culture leads employees to the casual approach towards life.
Dr Watve said a study is being carried on the behavioral pattern of IT professionals in Delhi, which is yet to be published. According to Dr Watve, fast money, work culture and lifestyle in the profession leads to casual sexual relationships, and moral values were the only answer to this problem.
Deepak Shikarpur, chairperson of Computer Society of India, said: "All employees in the IT industry are young and you can not blame industry as such." Shikarpur said even the police cannot take action against such couples if they have mutual consent. He said that the society should also consider the prevailing culture. "What is being shown on the television?" he asked and added that this is overall reaction of social reality.
According to sources, there are almost 3000 small and big IT industries in Pune, employing almost 1.5 lakh people. Software export in Pune in the past financial year was almost Rs 12,000 crore which is expected to touch Rs 15,000 crore in the current year.