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Andhra police raid Pune brothels, detain 100

Around 30 commercial sex workers, including six minors and brothel owners deport to AP by late Friday evening, reports Satyajit Joshi.
Hindustan Times | By Satyajit Joshi, Pune
UPDATED ON JAN 05, 2008 03:25 AM IST

The Pune police were left red-faced when a team of Andhra Pradesh police conducted raids on various brothels in Pune late on Thursday night.

Of the 100 women detained, 30 were from Andhra Pradesh — the ones who are from Maharashtra were released.

Around 30 commercial sex workers, including six minors, and brothel owners were deported to Andhra Pradesh by late Friday evening.

Senior Police Inspector of Faraskhana Police Station, VT Pawar confirmed the raids. Pawar said the Andhra Pradesh teams sought assistance from the Pune police.

“As many as 32 women were detained after a 10-hour operation in Budhwar Peth red light areas.” Saying that the cases will be handled by Andhra police, Pawar added: “We assisted them.” He said that the Pune police would keep a watch on cross-border trafficking.

“The raids were jointly conducted by the Pune and the Andhra Pradesh police,” said Pune Police Commissioner Jayant Umranikar.

“The Andhra police had come with search warrants and we helped them out,” he added.

Most sex workers detained on Thursday are from the tribal community of bordering areas such as Anantpur, Chittur and Kadappa of Andhra Pradesh.

According a rough estimate, Pune has over 25,000 commercial sex workers.

Commercial sex workers have been coming to Pune from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and lately from West Bengal and Nepal, said a police source on condition of anonymity.

“The number of CSWs from West Bengal and Nepal is on a rise in Pune,” said Shiv Sena leader and woman activist Neelam Gorhe. “The Andhra Police has been conducting systematic study over the problem. They also rehabilitate the women.”

She blamed the lower-rung Maharashtra police officers for encouraging inter-state trafficking.

Umranikar admitted that women from Nepal, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are being brought to Pune. “We are conducting raids every week,” he said.

The Pune police will soon make recommendations to Home ministry after conducting a study, he added.

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