LONDON: Britain is fast becoming a popular destination for Bollywood wannabes from India, with hundreds of girls being lured here to be forced into the mujra-and-sex industry.
These girls, who are promised dreams of starring in Bollywood movies, are instead forced to work in "mujra clubs", where they enact "dirty" versions of popular Bollywood song-and-dance sequences in private settings.

However, these are mere showcases for prostitution. The girls are eventually made to "service" a large numbers of Asians.

The "mujra clubs" are publicised only by word of mouth and are part of what British authorities see as a burgeoning Asian organised crime industry in London and places such as Birmingham, Bradford and Leicester.

The girls usually come from poor backgrounds in India and are lured with promises of performing in genuine Bollywood entertainment shows abroad. Such shows are popular in towns with large Asian populations.

A spokesperson of Jagori, a New Delhi-based women's rights group, told the weekly Eastern Eye: "Daughters and sisters of genuine mujra dancers in India are particularly targeted."

According to Tariqur Ghaffur, a senior ethnic minority police officer: "We are increasingly becoming aware of prostitution rackets and human trafficking around music groups linked to the Indian and Pakistani film industries."

The "mujra clubs" came to the notice of British authorities after the murder of a wealthy London businessman of Pakistan origin, Tahir Butt, in 1999.

Investigations revealed he was promoting a Pakistan-based band called the King International Musical Group, which performed at centres across Britain.

The band's female members had been legitimately brought here as professional dancers and were later lured into the sex industry.

Promoters are said to arrange to smuggle the girls into Britain or provide legitimate documents to bring them over as professional classical dancers.

Eastern Eye commented editorially: "If we do not speak out about this, thousands of hardworking and talented Asian people in this country who organise cultural and musical events for us will face being labelled as pimps and sleaze-mongers by the ignorant... Mujra has no place in British Asian society and it is up to us to root it out."

Promoters of "mujra clubs" reportedly make profits of up to 10,000 pounds a night.