IT SEEMS the business of sleaze is casting its net on Lucknowites through a high-tech route.
No wonder there are at least ten Lucknow-related communities on Google's social networking site Orkut, with sexual connotations in their interactions. Communities like 'Lucknow Call Girls' and 'Lucknow Sex Centre' are loaded with obscene pictures and personal text.
Exchange of telephone numbers, addresses, sexual preferences, sexual talk and fixing 'appointments'-- all this appears to be rampant among these communities.
Plus, there are well-organised forums. For instance, the community 'Lucknow Call Girls' has forums like 'Helo..do u know Lucknow call girls'. 'Lucknow Sex Centre' has forums like 'Wanna get ****'.
While sex on the Internet is not new, Orkut, with its wide network, has made soliciting apparently easier.
A search reveals about 100 communities are soliciting sex from Indian cities. All this is happening despite a warning from Orkut that no obscene or nude pictures should be loaded on the site and that other members can report abuse, if they come across any obscene photos. The 'Lucknow Call Girls' has 41 members and the 'Lucknow Sex Centre' 84. These communities are listed under the 'Romance & Relationships' segment.
In some places, both men and women have quoted their prices. They have specified they operate only through the Internet.
Soliciting is a crime under the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act. Section 67 of the Information Technology Act prohibits the transmission of obscenity in electronic form. However, a police officer says, "While obscenity is banned, soliciting on the Internet is not. It has to be established that some kind of a business is being operated through Orkut. We can act only if we get complaints from people. However, it is also the duty of the site to check misuse. A number of people found in these communities may actually not be doing anything. Only a small section of them could be engaged in the business."