THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If police officials are to be believed, as against popular concept they cannot book a parlour owner or employees just for offering cross massage wherein a client is given massage by a person of the opposite sex.
On Sunday, the police raided a parlour near Kripa Theatre, Overbridge, following a television news report that sexual services were being offered there.
However, the police could not confirm flesh trade and were unable to book the owners as it is not illegal to offer cross massages in India.
There are some 200 masseuses, both men and women, in massage parlours at Kovalam beach alone. While some have been earlier accused of providing ‘happy ending’ to customers, the cross massage is a much sought-after service by foreigners who believe women make better masseuses.
Then there are sandwich massages given to a client by two masseuses of the opposite sex.
“Local police demand clearance certificate for masseuse from their home police stations. This acts as deterrence for immoral trafficking that is held under the banner of massage parlours,” said DCP Sanjaykumar Gurudin.
While a few metro city corporations demand police NOC for issuing massage parlour licence, no civic body in Kerala demands this. The Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM) department formed to ensure qualities of ayurvedic treatment is powerless to monitor these parlours.
“In 2009, Madras High Court, based on a complaint from a spa owner, gave an ordered that the cross massages is perfectly legal. Unless someone is caught red-handed or a sexual act cannot be established we cannot take punitive action,” said a senior police officer attached to Kovalam station.
Staffers are sometimes asked to produce their diploma certificates and clinics need to exhibit the licence of A grade doctor affiliated to it.
As per a city-based spa owner who has advertised the availability of cross massages on yellow pages, they do not differentiate between staffers on sex.
“Homosexual services can be given in parlours where men massage men. So can all parlours be banned? If yes, there is a point in such a debate,” he said....