After a high-profile sex racket busted by the Mumbai police which was being run under the guise of a production house, at Versova, we call some of the Bollywood’s famous personalities and struggling workers to know more about the darker side of the industry.
In a new development, cops have arrested a 24-year-old model who was running the sex racket in Versova and rescued two models. The police had received information about the illegal activities at the flat by an NGO called Indian Rescue Mission, after which raid was conducted. Few girls were rescued from the spot.
In this process of investigation, AV met Sakshi (name change), who is a struggling actress and rescued in the operation. She said she came from Varanasi to Mumbai to try her luck in this dreams-selling industry. She shared her horrified experience and how she landed in Rekha Vaishnav’s clutches.
“I heard about the industry’s darker side but never experienced such a thing in my four years of stay. I met a model coordinator through one of the common friends. She is already working in the industry as a side dancer,” said Sakshi
“I paid her for getting me some work. First, she criticised my language and pronunciation then about my portfolio. She was telling in such a manner that I got panic over her attitude. Then one day she came with a proposal. She said that she will arrange for my portfolio and through that I will get some work. She offered me a job and said you have to dance in one private party,” added Sakshi.
She further said, “Assuming that it might be some birthday party or reception, I agreed to do so.”
However, when she landed at the event she got a shock of her life. “They forced me to compromise with the guests and threaten me about the consequences. As I belong to a respected family from Varanasi, I kept quiet and didn’t make any complaint, added Sakshi, while shedding tears.
Later, one day she called me over the phone and she started blackmailing me to work for her, or else I will not get any work in the industry,” she said.
We, AV asked some of the famous Bollywood personalities about how the struggling actresses get trapped in this type of activities, this is what they had to say.
Sandip Soparrkar, a well known Ball Room Dancer and Choreographer said, “Lot of them (Models) don’t have family support, some fight with their families and come to Mumbai, so they don’t have any option to go back but to be here and work for their living. Living in Mumbai is very expensive, so to cover up with the expense, they get trapped in these kinds of activities, which is really unfortunate.”
Omkar Karve, a Marathi actor said, “Many struggling artists come to Mumbai, who are mostly unaware about the living standards of the industry, to try their luck. However, they end up with some agents who lure them into illegal activities. I would like to say that there is very little scope in this industry. Out of 100 hardly 1 gets a chance to become an actor or actress from the rest, some go back or end-up finding themselves in some rackets to survive in Mumbai.”
Himanshu Jhunjhunwala, a well known Public Relation Manager who handles models and actress PRing explains, “Struggling actors, actresses and models fancy over the glamourous living styles of tinsel town’s models and actress and adopt their style statements and follow them. There’s always a pressure to look good and appealing. Models are judged for wearing same costumes twice. To cope up with all this pressure, they end up doing something which will give them easy money. Those who are talented get selected, but those who lack talent are trapped into by agents in the mask of ‘casting directors’.
India Rescue Mission got information that Rekha Vaishnav, who claimed to be a model, was running the sex racket under the guise of a production house named ‘VR Entertainment’ located at Versova. Rekha used to lure aspiring models to come and get a break in Bollywood and later force them to work as Commercial Sex Worker (CSW). The cops suspect the involvement of some Bollywood biggies as names of many high-profile customers were found in the documents recovered from VR Entertainment’s office. “Most businessmen and known faces from Bollywood were in touch with her, it has been found in the investigation,” DS Patil, Inspector from Versova police station said.
Vaishnav ran the racket in guise of a production company and worked as a model and acted in a couple of low budget films, lured struggling models into getting a role before forcing them into prostitution.
The model has been booked under section 373 (buying minors for purposes of prostitution) of IPC and under various provisions of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA).
The police seized Rs. 20,000 and recovered over 100 photos of various other models, most of them hailing from outside of Mumbai.
Patil said, “The model used to communicate with struggling artists who were looking out for a chance to work in film industry and then used to put them in touch with customers and earn a commission for herself.
Earlier, Mumbai Police has busted one more high-profile sex racket and has arrested two models from Goregaon area. One of the two arrested models is said to be a known female TV actor. She is supposedly seen regularly on the crime show ‘Savdhaan India’.