A 16-year-old girl from Delhi has helped the police bust a sex racket that was thriving in the popular hill station of Manali, Himachal Pradesh.
The shocking fact that has emerged from the investigation is that it was the minor girl’s mother who had forced her into prostitution. A report in The Times of India said the girl’s mother was earning Rs 40,000 every month from the pimp to whom the girl was sold a month ago.
Police said the girl was taken to Manali by two pimps around a month ago and forced into prostitution. She managed to flee on Saturday while being sent to meet a client. The report said the girl took refuge in a private hospital in the town and asked for assistance from a staff member. Child helpline 1098 was then informed, which in turn contacted the police.
A case has been registered in connection with the matter under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code and various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act.
Kullu Superintendent of Police Shalini Agnihotri said the inputs provided by the girl helped them nab the main accused from Manali. The accused hails from Zirakpur in Punjab and has been sent to police custody for three days.
Police said they have also learned from the minor victim that some other girls were also pushed into sex trade in Manali about a month back and some of them were minors like her. The cops also suspect the sex racket may have some links in Delhi as well.
The TOI report said since Manali sees a large tourist footfall, especially during the summer season, sex trade is being used to earn big bucks by pimps who bring in girls, including foreigners, to the picturesque town.