Irked by an open prostitution racket taking root in their neighborhood, around 70 housing societies in Vasai west have written to the police requesting immediate intervention. Under the banner of Anand Nagar Residents United Voice, with help from other volunteers, the team has erected posters outside Vasai west station premises and is also running a signature campaign against what they claim is fast turning into a flourishing flesh trade.
‘We are met with unwanted stares’
The complainants claim that the presence of prostitutes on the streets has affected their commute to and from the area during evenings and late night. Women are the worst sufferers and many complain of being met with unwanted stares.
“I was waiting for my husband outside the railway station when I was approached by a person who asked me how much I charge. I was shocked,” said Shilpa S, a resident. The sight of men uncomfortably dodging prostitutes after they get down at the station too is common, said the complainants.
Another resident said that auto-rickshaw drivers have taken advantage of this and have started charging double the rate, even for short distances.
“I have been fighting for this cause since 2011. I have filed complaints at both Manikpur and Vasai GRP and have even notified local corporators. But over the years, things have just gone from bad to worse,” said Vasai resident Sandeep Salian, who is a contractor by profession.
Salian alleged that the authorities are hand-in-glove with those involved in the flesh trade. “So I approached housing societies, schools, religious establishments, and all who have at least witnessed firsthand the situation outside the Vasai station. They were just happy to be part of the campaign to rid the area of the menace,” said Salian.
The team behind the campaign is expecting around 350 more complaints – by housing societies, religious institutions, schools and colleges – to reach the Vasai police station in the coming days.
Will increase vigil: cops
Meanwhile, police admitted having received several complaints from residents.
“We have received letters regarding this issue. While we have been conducting raids across Vasai taluka regularly, we will further intensify vigil in the particular area,” said Additional SP, Vasai, Yogesh Kumar.
“Yes, we have also received letters and accordingly, action has been taken. We have also increased patrolling by Damini Pathak units in the area,” said Manikpur police station police inspector Anil Patil.