The Malwani police recently declared war on an easy target: sex. This paper had reported recently that consenting adults who had checked into various hotels in the Madh Island and Aksa area to get some privacy were shocked to find the police knocking on the doors of their rooms. More than 40 couples were rounded up and taken to the police station, where they were insulted and some of them, especially college students, were made to call their parents.
They were then charged with ‘indecent behaviour in public’, even though they were in private hotel rooms when they were ‘caught’, and fined Rs 1,200 before being let off nearly five hours later.
Though they have been ‘let off’ they now bear the psychological scars of that raid. What is important is that all those taken to the police station were adults and consenting adults at that. To treat them like criminals and pile humiliation on them by taking them to the police station, call up their parents, makes one wonder what age we are living in.
In a city, where space is scarce, couples find it hard to share private moments. They are routinely harassed by the cops at public places, fined or threatened by so-called authorities. It is time to stop what moral policing under the guise of Indian culture. We do not live in the dark ages, nor is this a Taliban-ruled country where any expressions of love are to be punished or forbidden.
Many of these couples are young, easily intimidated, powerless or terrified of their families. The cops play on these aspects, actually ‘extorting’ money from them, or pushing them into a corner, giving them no option but to accede to demands to call their parents or pay fines. Parents tend to at times punish these youngsters severely, as they are humiliated by the police action and have a fear of societal stigma. Stop moral policing, Mumbai Police. The government and the police have no place in the bedroom of two consenting adults in this nation.
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