Days after imposing section 144 of the CrPC in a prominent red-light area here following complaints of open solicitation by commercial sex workers (CSWs), the police have now issued a notification banning prostitution to be carried out in that area for the next two months, an official said on Thursday. Nagpur Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar issued the notification on Wednesday, in which he warned that those found flouting the orders would face legal action. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code was imposed in Ganga Jamuna area on August 11 after several residents complained about open solicitation by CSWs and other illegal activities.
After that, several sex workers had staged a protest and removed barricades put up by the police restricting entry of people to the area. Police had also conducted house-to-house searches in the area, where around 500 to 700 sex workers operate. The notification was issued by the commissioner of police under Section 7 (1) (b) of Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA), which bans prostitution in 200 metres surrounding several locations – mostly religious places and educational premises – for the next 60 days in the red-light area.
“It has been brought to my notice that several offences have been registered in the last five years under the PITA for carrying out prostitution in or around Balaji Mandir, Chinteshwar Mandir, Baba Kamlishah Dargah, Durga Devi Mandir, Sharda Devi Mandir, Radha Swami Satsang, Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s Chinteshwar Hindi Primary School, Hindustan High School (all the places located in Ganga Jamuna area or nearby),” the CP said in the notification. “Therefore, the premises within a distance of 200 meters from the above referred public places shall not be used for the purpose of prostitution and it is declared hereby that the violation of notification will attract liability and prosecution against the violators under Section 7 (1-A), Section 7 (2) (a), 2 (b) and 2 (c) of the PITA and relevant sections of law, depending upon the nature of violation,” it said.
A police official said that a total of 188 brothels are located in this area. After imposing section 144, the city police have also started sealing the brothels located in the area. So far, two brothels have been sealed and a similar action is planned against seven more such places, he said. Local residents have said that sex workers lure minor girls from outside the state and openly solicit in public places, which has vitiated the atmosphere in the area and made life difficult for the residents.