Pune, 3rd February 2024: After assuming the role of Pune Police CP, Amitesh Kumar outlined his top priorities, including crime prevention, detection, addressing cybercrime, and managing traffic, among others, during his initial meeting with journalists. Notably, Punekar News has unearthed a significant action taken by him to enhance ‘law and order’ during his prior assignment in Nagpur.
In particular, on August 11, 2021, then CP of Nagpur, Amitesh Kumar, ordered the closure of the Ganga-Jamuna area, a 3-acre space housing numerous brothels. This move garnered attention locally and nationally in 2021. During the operation, fifteen out of sixteen access points to Ganga Jamuna were barricaded, with three policemen and a police van equipped with a CCTV camera standing vigilant at these entry points. Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, designed to curb “nuisance” or “apprehended danger,” was enforced for two months across the three-acre area.
For the readers of this news piece, it’s essential to note that while operating a brothel is punishable under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (IPTA), 1956, women engaged in sex work are considered “victims.” Both law enforcement and the state are expected to take necessary initiatives towards their rehabilitation. The then Women and Child Welfare Minister, Yashomati Thakur, also expressed concern over the abrupt decision by Nagpur Police, impacting the livelihoods of thousands of women in the Ganga Jamuna Area. However, Amitesh Kumar remained steadfast in his decision.
Delving into the technicalities, on the legal front, Amitesh Kumar issued a notification under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA), prohibiting prostitution in Ganga-Jamuna. This notification empowered the police to detain individuals engaged in prostitution in the specified area. According to the notification under Section 7 (1) (b) of the PITA, the CP has the authority to designate public places within a 200-meter distance where prostitution cannot occur. Amitesh stated in his notification, “It has come to my attention that several offenses have been registered, in the last five years, under the PITA, for carrying out prostitution in or around Balaji Mandir, Chinteshwar Mandir, Baba Kamlishah Dargah, Durga Devi Mandir, Sharda Devi Mandir, Radha Swami Satsang, NMC’s Chinteshwar Hindi Primary School, Hindustan High School (all located in or near Ganga-Jamuna). Therefore, premises within a 200-meter distance from these public places shall not be used for prostitution. Violation of this notification will attract liability and prosecution under Section 7 (1-A), Section 7 (2) (a), 2 (b), and 2 (c) of PITA and relevant sections of the law, depending upon the nature of the violation.”
Regarding Pune and Amitesh Kumar’s appointment as CP Pune City, it is noteworthy that the infamous Red Light Area in the heart of Budhwar Peth is within close proximity to public places like Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Mandir, Dutta Mandir, and Mandai, all within 200 meters. It remains to be seen whether the new CP has plans to address openly conducted prostitution in the Budhwar Peth area and Navle Bridge Chowk. During the early evening hours, one can observe numerous sex workers, including transgender individuals, openly soliciting professional services. The area between the Bharti Vidyapeeth Police Station and Sinhgad Road Police Station seems to be overlooked by both police stations, as residents in this area have raised concerns on multiple occasions.