Special efforts to bust sex racket

| 28 May 2001 22:15 IST

Protecting prestige of the family at the cost of a serious crime like sexual exploitation - a typical middle class mentality - seems to be the major hurdle in busting the sex scandal, involving sons of political bigwigs in the tourist state.

"Stigma could be one reason why no victim is coming forward to file a complaint", states Karnal Singh, the DIG of Police.

But it is also the fear as those involved in the alleged sex scandal are sons of top politicians, running the racket in collusion with city's leading loan shark and even a police officer.

"We are trying various ways to create confidence among the parents of the girl victims", says Karnal Singh, the DIG of Police.

While stating that special efforts are being made for complainants to come forward fearlessly, he has assured to maintain total secrecy over identity of the victims, if they come forward.

The scandal was made public by chief minister Manohar Parrikar last week, alleging that college girls were made victims of sexual abuse and harassment on the lines of infamous Jalgaon sex scandal, involving sons of top politicians of the state.

Though Singh declines to disclose any kind of detail of the preliminary investigation being conducted in this regard, information reveals that a cyber cafe run near a college near Miramar beach in Panaji was used to attract college girls by providing special concessional rates.

After offering them soft drinks mixed with sleeping drugs, they were taken to the empty flats in the same building, undressed and photographed in compromising positions. Threatening them to make the photos public, they were then supplied to the sons of top politicians and bureaucrats, at the behest of the loan shark.

According to Singh, investigations had begun on the basis of an oral complaint made by a close family friend of one such victim. He however admits that nobody was coming forward to file a formal written complaint.

"If we fine evidence, we will immediately register the offence and action would be taken", he assures.

The police are however facing a problem in investigating the case as activities at the building owned by the top loan shark in Miramar have also stopped suddenly after chief minister's disclosure in this regard.

As the girl victims involved in the case mostly come from the middle class or upper middle class background, the police are also finding it difficult to get a complainant. Singh however feels confident of overcoming these hurdles and busting the racket shortly, provided the special efforts bear fruits.

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