Not to book couples seen at secluded places but ensure they are not targeted

After warning young couples of police action if found at secluded places, the Mumbai Police did a U-turn late night on Thursday by saying that they would not take action against such couples, but increase vigilance to ensure that such couples were not targeted by miscreants.

“There is a slight change in the circular now. We will not book the couples, but take action to ensure that they are not troubled by anti-social elements,” Ambadas Pote, spokesperson for Mumbai Police, told The Hindu on Thursday night.

Earlier in the day, he had said that as a “preventive measure,” police stations had been instructed to find such places in their jurisdictions and take action against such couples if they did not go away after a warning. “Taking action is a secondary part. The primary part is discouraging young couples from meeting at such places where they can be easily targeted by the anti-social elements or miscreants, and can be victimised,” Mr. Pote had said.

Primary focus

He said that the primary focus of the Mumbai Police was the safety of youngsters. Police officers said that often, college-going youths were found hanging around at isolated places near picnic spots and beaches.

“We have told our officers that first, they should ask the couples to go away. If the couples do not listen or indulge in any obscene acts, then and only then will they be booked,” Mr. Pote had said earlier.