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’Mobiles Give Them Freedom’

Monday 17 May 2004

Delhi police commissioner K.K. Paul says that a concerted campaign by his force is the only way to stamp out prostitution in the city. He talks about the nature and magnitude of the problem. Excerpts from an interview:

How serious is the problem of high-end prostitution in the city?

Look, the problem has always been there. But at the same time I agree that it has grown considerably. In the last two months alone, we have arrested almost 100 call girls, some from good families, and a sizable number of foreigners. These massage parlours, masquerading as leisure and recreational centres, have mushroomed in Delhi. Even guest houses are being used for this activity.

Do you agree there is more money now in this trade, which is why more women are getting into it?

There has been more detection and concerted drives by the police. Aren’t the results obvious? Sure, the drives may not give a picture of how much of it carries on illegally. It may be the tip of the proverbial iceberg...

Some of your officers say that Delhi has become the new nerve-centre for the upmarket sex trade...

I’d say the problem is acute. The nature and form of this activity has changed. Women in the business no longer have to depend on the pimp. The mobile phone and contacts have given them more space and freedom to operate.

Is legalising prostitution a way out then?

We work out from a different social system. We are sensitive to crime against women but insensitive to this activity. If you can’t eradicate it, that doesn’t mean you legalise it. More action needs to be taken.


in Outlook India, Monday, May 17, 2004.

link to That Delhi Belle

link to Sex and the politician

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