The police on Friday said ‘Tara aunty’, the woman accused of running an online sex racket from Ghaziabad, mainly used messaging service WhatsApp to procure clients. She created WhatsApp groups and used them as a meeting place for interested men and women.
Police said she later charged a 50% commission from the men who were “introduced” to the women. The commission amount varied from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000, police said.
Tara was produced before a Ghaziabad court on Friday in connection with the rape of a minor girl who was allegedly assaulted by several men with the help of the woman.
Three more persons, including Tara’s live-in partner Rajiv Sethi, were also arrested after an FIR was lodged at Sahibabad police station.
“We recovered three smartphones from Tara and Sethi. These numbers were found attached to several groups named ‘Delhi area,’ ‘NCR area’ and ‘Ghaziabad area’ and suspected to include men and women who took Tara’s help to hook up. The groups consist of 60-100 members and most used fake pictures as profile shots,” said Anup Singh, circle officer (Sahibabad).
The police said Tara has been living with Sethi, who runs a water supply business, at the flat in Shalimar Garden.
“All these people had put up fake profile pictures and did not reveal their identities. It is suspected that most of these members were in touch with Tara. She had also posted pictures of women and also of the minor girl (the victim in the case) on these groups. These pictures were posted to lure people. The groups were made exclusively for such activities,” he said.
“The group members may also include persons who may have voluntarily had sex with anonymous persons and the woman (Tara) facilitated their contacts with like-minded people,” a police source said.
Apart from the arrest of four persons, including Tara, police are also on lookout for a fifth person who is believed to be Tara’s accomplice in running the online sex racket.
Tara was arrested after her name cropped up in the statements of the minor girl who told police that she hailed from Uttarakhand and landed in Tara’s trap inadvertently.
The girl had told the police that she boarded a train from Roorkee to Shamli and met Tara who brought her to the Shalimar Garden flat on March 4 under the pretext of providing her a job.
The FIR also stated that some men forced themselves on the girl while others let her off saying she was too “young” and not “suitable”.
The girl also told police that Tara allegedly took her to another woman in Laxmi Nagar, Delhi, and wanted the girl’s photographs put on the internet. The woman refused to do so. Later, Tara left the girl in an auto and she was found by police and brought to Ghaziabad.
Following the girl’s statement, the Ghaziabad police lodged an FIR under sections of rape and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and arrested Tara and three others.
“The girl’s statement has been recorded before a magistrate and she has been sent to the Nari Niketan in Meerut. We are continuing with the investigation and also trying to trace the location of the girl’s house in Uttarakhand. We are trying to figure more details about Tara,” Singh added