Bhayandar: Stung by a series of agitations and representations by the local Shiv Sena and BJP units against the thriving flesh trade in Bhayandar, the Thane (rural) police have finally geared up to take preventive measures to curb prostitution menace in the area, which has reached alarming proportions.
Apart from setting up camping spots (police assistance centres) in vulnerable areas, the Navghar Police has now launched a dedicated helpline number (7777004535) to help citizens pass on information or register complaints against such immoral activities.
According to social workers in the area, the local police are turning a blind eye to the illegal activities in and around the east side of Bhayandar railway station making the area a permanent address for sex workers and others indulging in bad activities.
“We have bene conducting raids on a regular basis. Besides launching the helpline facility, personnel from GRP, Railway Police Force and our own policemen will be deputed at the assistance booths,” said senior police inspector Ram Bhalsingh.
The police had recently apprehended eight sex workers near the railway station and booked them under the relevant sections of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act.
However, after a brief lull, the immoral activities once again gained momentum. This is posing serious problem to local residents, especially women, who sometimes are mistaken for sex workers and harassed by alcoholics and junkies.
Political leaders, social organisations and local residents had threatened not only to launch an agitation against the police and dingy lodge owners but also take to streets themselves.