IN 2006, Michael Jackson hit out at critics and sang, ‘They don’t really care about us’. In 2012, the citizens, especially the youth, are chanting the same words, after 57-year-old Assistant Commissioner of Police (Social Service Branch) Vasant Dhoble has been raiding bars and pubs repeatedly. And yesterday, finally, young politicos from the city, who have remained mum on the issue, came out in support of Mumbai’s youth and social life.
Milind Deora, minister and Member of Parliament representing South Mumbai — the fanciest place for parties, tweeted, “Police enthusiasm should always be calibrated to ensure that only miscreants, not peaceful and law abiding citizens are targeted.”Deora’s tweet came after ACP Dhoble has carried out a series of raids across various pubs, bars and restaurants. A musician himself, Deora has performed in various night clubs, some of which have faced Dhoble’s fury and said that it was time that some action be taken against cops misusing laws.
And Deora is not the only one speaking out among the political circles. BJP’s youth leader Poonam Mahajan agrees with Deora. Speaking to
MiD DAY, she said, “Police action is needed but then we also need to ensure that the innocent aren’t troubled. The parents of today’s youth know what their children are up to. We are a progressive state but at the same time our youth understand their limits. The authorities should first send letters to pubs and nightclubs asking them to follow rules and only if they don’t comply, should action be initiated.”
Adding to the voices of support, Akshay Bardapurkar, president of the Maharashtra Cine and Television, Sena, said, “We are not against the law but what troubles us is the way the police has been booking the youth under the PITA (Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act) Act. I represdent the DJ federation and it is sad and deplorable to see the issues that the industry is facing. We have spoken to our seniors and have decided to go ahead and support the cause. We will also be writing to the commissioner and to the state home minister highlighting the issue.”
Rahul Kanal, member of the Mumbai Youth Congress, has also started a Facebook page against ACP Vasant Dhoble. Complaining of Dhoble and the authorities’ high-handedness, he complained, “Mumbai, today comprises 68 per cent youngsters, yet they continue to suffer. The authorities talk about overcrowding in pubs. What about overcrowding in buses and trains? The government must understand that a stampede can take place anywhere. These restrictions are not only hurting the youth of Mumbai but also the city financially, as tourism and excise industries contribute to the state revenue.”