Shady business of gay trafficking comes to the light

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 6:

A homosexual man, who was trafficked to an Indian brothel seven years ago, today broke into tears at a press meet organised by the Blue Diamond Society (BDS) recalling his sad experience in the brothel. He had managed to escape from the brothel two months ago.

Though Dibya Thapa, 22, is not the first gay to be sold to an Indian brothel, this is

the first case that came to the light unveiling the shady business of trafficking in of gays to Indian brothels in an organised manner.

“We have just heard that gays are also being trafficked to Indian brothels. We have confronted such a case for the first time after Dibya came to take shelter in Blue Diamond Society (BDS),” said Sunil Babu Panta, chairman of the NGO that works for the welfare of gays and lesbians. Dibya was working at Hotel Deurali in Pokhara for a monthly pay of Rs 1,000 before his friend Manoj Thapa took him to a Mumbai-based hotel promising him a new job with better pay. Manoj, however ran away after taking him to a room of the Rani Habeli in Mumbai. “Then started the painful days in my life. I had to entertain up to 25 customers daily,” he lamented. “For two years, they didn’t let me go out of the Habeli. Later, Maharani,

the owner of the Habeli, started beating me up whenever I failed to give her a minimum of Rs 50 a day.” He was even forced to go to the streets for begging. “There are 50 to 60 Nepali gays in the brothel and I think some 200 gays have been trafficked to Mumbai alone,” he said. He knew only two years later that he was sold for Rs 85,000 when Maharani asked his father and bother, who had gone there bring him back, to pay her the sum.

BDS chairman Panta said the society would launch campaign against trafficking in of homosexuals to Indian brothels after consultations with Maiti Nepal, an NGO that works against trafficking in of women.

Gokarna KC of Maiti Nepal said the gay traffickers can also be punished under the existing laws.