Durgapur police claim to have busted a flesh trade racket yesterday (12 September) in and around City Centre – the administrative headquarters of Durgapur. The racket that involved luring women job seekers into the flesh trade was operating in the posh Urvashi locality very close to the City Centre Police Investigation Centre.
Police said that the flesh trade racket has been thriving under the garb of placement agencies and was busted following a complaint by two victims.
Police arrested three persons including the kingpin of the racket, Tapas Das.
Two young girls complained to the police that they were registered as unemployed persons with the placement agency a fortnight back. They said: “Our names were registered against payment of Rs 2500 each and we were assured of a job within a month.”
Yesterday, one of the victims, who is a resident of Karangapara locality near Durgapur railway station alleged that she was called up from the placement agency and claimed, ““One Mrs Paromita Chatterjee who is second in command in the office, told me that my job was finalised and to clinch this I was required to accompany a businessman to Tarapith, which I found strange.”
When she declined the offer, Paromita and the owner of the placement agency Tapas Das turned on her. In her written complaint the victim stated: “Mr Das suddenly pounced on me and forcibly hugged me while Paromita clicked pictures on her cell phone.” The 20 year-old girl alleged: “Both threatened to post my pictures in porn sites, if I refused to comply.”
The other girl also had a similar tale to tell.
Mr Tapas Das however pleaded innocent and said: “I have been booked on fabricated charges and we have helped at least 40 job seekers get employment in different shopping malls, salons, call-centres in the last six months.”
Mr Das’s agency however procured a trade license from the local civic body on 1 April, 2013, for job consultancy services.
Nearly 50 such girls raided the office of the placement agency accompanied by local Trinamool Congress leaders and supporters. Several girls like complained that they got themselves registered with the company against a payment of Rs 4,000 each and were yet to get placed.
Police, meanwhile, has decided to zero in on such dubious companies. Mr Sunil Yadav, ADCP (East) said: “Three persons of the accused agency have been taken into custody and we are going to probe other such companies.”
Durgapur has witnessed a sharp rise in crime rate in recent times. Residents have time and again expressed their concern and anguish.