A sex racket was busted in this Uttarakhand city by the state police’s Anti-Human Trafficking unit, an official said on Sunday, adding three women including the mastermind were also arrested in this connection.
Pankaj Bhatt, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Nainital, said that the arrested leader of the racket was identified as Tania Sheikh. She had been living in a rented accommodation in Haldwani for the last one year.
Sheikh used to bring women from outside and they were sent to various hotels in the city. Various hotels were also complicit in the racket.
According to the police officer, the Anti-Human Trafficking unit had raided a house on May 14 and a minor from West Bengal was found there. On questioning, she spilled the beans about the racket.
However, Sheikh and the others were absconding, while the landlord of the premises and his two sons were arrested after a brief scuffle.
Later, information on Sheikh, who was supervising the sex racket from her house, was obtained while the minor identified the hotels that were part of the racket.
Eventually, Tania Sheikh, along with two other women, were also arrested.
Bhatt also said that scanning of CCTVs and registers of the hotels showed visits of various women.
He said that action against the hotel owners would also be taken.
During the probe, it was also learned that the minor rescued on May 14 was forced to take part in the racket. She was even drugged and taken to various hotels by the accused.
SSP Bhatt said that cases under relevant sections of law would be filed against all the accused including Tania Sheikh.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)