‘Highway prostitution’: In major crackdown, MP police raids ‘deras’, apprehends 29 girls including 8 minors | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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‘Highway prostitution’: In major crackdown, MP police raids ‘deras’, apprehends 29 girls including 8 minors

In a major crackdown on the ‘highway prostitution’ in the state’s north western part, Madhya Pradesh police raided the ‘deras’ or settlements along the highway in Mandsaur district

bhopal Updated: Nov 13, 2017 22:24 IST
Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Banchhra,prostitution,raid
(UIG via Getty Images)

In a major crackdown on the ‘highway prostitution’ in the state’s north western part, Madhya Pradesh police raided the ‘deras’ or settlements along the highway in Mandsaur district, and apprehended 29 girls for alleged prostitution. Eight girls were found to be minors.

Sunder Singh Kanesh, additional superintendent of police Mandsaur told HT that on Sunday late evening, a team of over 50 police personnel including women cops raided the ‘deras’ or prostitution dens of the Banchhra community along the Neemuch-Mahu four-lane highway.

“We were receiving lot of complaints about large scale prostitution going on along the Neemuch-Mahu four-lane highway falling under the jurisdiction of the Malhargarh and Pipaliya police stations in the district. So we decided to initiate a major crackdown on such settlements. In the raid we caught 29 girls, including 8 minors. We are now investigating how many of them are from outside the Banchra community”, he said.

Kanesh said they have not filed any case yet against the girls. “Our main aim is to bring them back into the mainstream of the society. They have been sent to the shelter home where they will be counseled by the officials concerned of the women and child development department. We are investigating their backgrounds one by one and accordingly we will decide in which matter we can file a case”, he said.

According to rough estimates nearly 15,000-odd members of the Banchhra community are spread over 70 ‘deras’ in Neemuch, Mandsaur and Ratlam districts. Along the highways in this area, girls of Banchhra community wait in groups or alone, soliciting customers, with their faces painted garishly and decked up in their colourful attires. According to locals, eldest daughter of the family in the Banchhra community usually becomes a prostitute and earns for the family till she becomes old. Then another younger girl takes over. The male members of the family act as the pimp.

In the last two decades, there have been two major interventions that have left their mark on the Banchhra community. In 1998 under Nirmal Abhiyan young girls of Banchhra community were educated in hostels in Indore and the other was in 2011 when Banchhra settlements were raided by police as it was found that many of the children who were being forced into prostitution had been kidnapped by the Banchhras.

First Published: Nov 13, 2017 22:24 IST