Deccan Chronicle

Residents demand stricter laws on massage parlours

- DC CORRESPOND­ENT HYDERABAD, AUG. 1

Residents in the tri-commission­erate areas, especially those in newer parts of the city, are seeking stricter laws to regulate mushroomin­g of massage parlours, many of which were found to serve as a den for illegal activities and prostituti­on rackets.

It is estimated that there are about 500 massage parlours in the tri-commission­erate areas.

Shiva Kumar, a resident of Kukatpally, said, “We are unaware of what is happening at these massage centres. Sudden raids and arrests leave us in shock, and it makes us feel awkward to walk in this vicinity. They also tarnish the dignity of our colony. Many young women in our colonies feel unsafe walking here. Even if arrests are made, they seem to reopen after a couple of days. All the massage centres are operating with political and official support.”

A resident of Serilingam­pally, preferring anonymity, alleged collusion between trafficker­s or those running prostituti­on rackets with the police.

The resident said, “There are approximat­ely 150 massage centres in Serilingam­pally. Despite illegal activities and attempts to reach out and express our discomfort, there has been no change.

A recent incident of Madhapur zone inspector receiving a notice for collecting a significan­t amount of money for engaging in illegal activities is an example; this is not an isolated case.”

Senior advocate Srinivas Goud told Deccan Chronicle that the accused receive lenient charges and station bail, allowing them to reopen the massage centres. “Laws should be made more stringent, and seized massage centres should not be allowed to reopen, which should be the department’s responsibi­lity,” he said.

West Zone DCP Joel Davis said, “Strict action is taken wherever the violation has come to our notice. We had made about 20 arrests in the past couple of months now. Those running massage centres have to follow the guidelines of the High Court.”

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