Mumbai Police chief Rakesh Maria on Sunday ordered an investigation into raids in which the police rounded up 40 couples from hotels and lodges in the suburbs and charged them with public indecency. Considering strong public reactions and criticism against the “moral policing”, Mr. Maria instructed Additional Commissioner of Police (North) Fatehsingh Patil to conduct an inquiry.
Social media has erupted with outrage against the police. A team of the Malwani police raided lodges and two-star hotels in the Aksa and Madh Island areas on Thursday afternoon. Couples who had checked into the hotels for privacy were shocked to find the police knocking on their doors. They were pulled out of the rooms and taken to a police station and allegedly even manhandled for being “caught” for “indecent public behaviour”.
The police said the raids followed complaints by the local people about rampant prostitution in the area.
‘Mumbai raids disgraceful’
While the Mumbai Police justified the raids on hotels and rounding up of 40 couples on the charge of public indecency, a majority of the social media users called the police action “disgraceful,” “shameful,” and a violation of privacy.
Many of the people apprehended were students. Some women were even made to call up their parents, reports said. The couples were let off by the police but not before five traumatic hours in custody and a Rs. 1,200 fine each.
“I am not a prostitute. I am an adult who was out with my fiancé, who I am supposed to marry next month, to find some privacy. I entered my name in the hotel register with my identity proof and handed over documents when asked,” one of the women told a local daily.
Bollywood music composer and AAP member Vishal Dadlani tweeted: This police-state nonsense is going mad! How can it be ‘public indecency’ if they were in hotel rooms? #sexbanned?”
(With inputs from PTI)