Pune: For the first time ever, officials of the Social Security Cell (SSC) arrested and booked four clients after they rescued six girls from flesh trade that was being operated from Ajinkya Lodge in Hadapsar on Tuesday.

Official said by booking the clients, who earlier would be let off with being penalised, they wanted to send a message across the society that those involved in the flesh trade — directly or indirectly — would not be spared. They added that this would make people think twice before visiting such places.

Police officials said the six call girls were from different states and were hired on a 10-day contract. Cops are now on the lookout for Ajay Patil, whom they suspect of operating several such prostitution rackets in the city. “We received specific information that the lodge was being used for operating a prostitution racket and call girls from different parts of the country were hired on a 10-day contract,” Senior Police Inspector of the SSC Bhanupratap Barge said.

He added that a trap was laid outside the lodge and upon receiving confirmation that the girls were inside the team stormed into the lodge and caught four clients red-handed. Barge also informed that there were clear instructions from the superiors to take action against clients as well. “At the time of raid, four girls were with their clients and two were sitting idle. The four clients were also arrested and booked under Section 5 of the Prevention of Illegal Trafficking Act,” Barge said.

The arrested quartet was identified as Kolhapur resident Pradip Patil (24), Ganesh (26) and Nana Bendre (23), residents of Shirur, and Sandesh Shinde (24) of Wagholi. While Patil is a web designer, the Bendres run the family business of providing labour to the industries in Ranjangaon MIDC area. Sandesh is a farmer. Barge said the lodge owner and its manager were identified as Sunil Tupe and manager Venkat, respectively, and both were at large. “Ajay Patil, who runs several prostitution rackets in various areas of the city and who was responsible for bringing the girls to this particular lodge, is absconding and we have intensified our efforts to arrest him,” Barge said.


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