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After News18 Exposé, Spas, Massage Parlours Raided in Dehradun and Rishikesh

Officials of Dehradun police question staff of a  spa centre during a raid.

Officials of Dehradun police question staff of a spa centre during a raid.

An investigative report by News18 had exposed a deep-rooted prostitution ring being operated from their premises. Female employees alleged they were forced to do ‘whatever the client asked for’

The Dehradun police have raided more than 100 spa centres and massage parlours following an investigative report by News18 that exposed a deep-rooted sex racket being operated from their premises.

On Thursday and Friday evening, the police raided 103 spa and massage centres across Dehradun and Rishikesh. As per the police, most of the centres did not have CCTVs installed, nor were they maintaining proper records of their clients.

“We have asked all the police stations to maintain a regular record of employees and visitors at spa centres. We have fined those who were not keeping such records,” said Yogendra Rawat, Senior Superintendent of Police.

In the last few years, unscrupulous spa centres have mushroomed in the state capital – most of them located in the busy market area where they reportedly get quite a few ‘walk-in’ clients. The undercover operation aired recently, had shown how several spa centres were engaging in flesh trade in the guise of providing massage and spa treatments. Operators were caught on camera offering ‘services’ for prices ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000. During the undercover operation, News18 also decoded the code words widely used in the industry. The terms like ‘full service’ ‘half service’ means sex and oral sex respectively.

One of the women interviewed by our team, on the condition of anonymity, revealed that women working in these spas were forced to do ‘whatever clients asked for’. She said they were often moved from one city to another in a bid to avoid getting caught.

“I worked for a spa in Delhi earlier, then they sent me to work here (Dehradun),” said Karishma (name changed). She alleged cops, too, regularly visit the spa centre she worked at and demanded ‘complimentary’ sex.

The state women commission has taken cognizance of the operation. Commission’s chairperson Vijaya Barthwal has sought details from the police. Meanwhile, state Ayush department, which has prepared dos and don’ts for the spa centres, said, as of now, only three centres are registered with the department.

(With inputs from Satendra Barthwal)

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