'Preventing eve teasing is hotels' responsibility'

27 December,2010 07:08 AM IST |   |  Urvashi Seth

New Year guidelines issued by police say hoteliers are responsible for keeping check on eve teasing, molestation incidents on their premises; hotel owners unhappy

New Year guidelines issued by police say hoteliers are responsible for keeping check on eve teasing, molestation incidents on their premises; hotel owners unhappy

HAVING learnt a lesson from the much-publicised public molestation incident that took place outside a Juhu hotel in 2008, the Mumbai Police has issued a strict set of guidelines to hotels to ensure the safety of female patrons during New Year celebrations.

This picture by MiD DAY*s Shadab Khan of a man trying to save his friend from being molested at the Gateway on December 31, 2006, became synonymous for the ugly side of New Year celebrations

The directives (see box) put the onus of preventing *obscene or indecent acts* and eve teasing in hotel premises on the hoteliers.

Hotel owners, however, say that they are taking all possible precautions but can*t be held responsible for such incidents because preventing them is the job of the police.

Vijaysingh Jadhav, deputy commissioner of police (HQ-I), "These guidelines have been issued in the interest of partygoers.
There is always a spike in incidents of molestation and eve teasing during New Year celebrations. We wanted to remind hotel owners of the need to take proper precautions."

The guidelines also ask hotel owners to ensure that alcohol is not served to minors and CCTV cameras and metal detectors are installed.

*Passing the buck*

Sudhakar Shetty, president of Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR), however, said, "The safety and security of guests is our primary concern, but the Mumbai police should understand that preventing such incidents is their job and not of the hotel or restaurant owner.

This is the first time that we have received guidelines which are so hard to follow."

A hotel owner from Andheri, who did not wish to be named, said the guidelines are meant to harass hoteliers and not to help the common man.u00a0 "The guidelines state that liquor should be served to permit holders only and minors should strictly not be served alcohol.

Ensuring this is the job of the excise department. Also, we are doing what we can for the security of female guests, but one cannot expect a hotelier to prevent eve teasing. We are in the hospitality and not the security industry. The Mumbai police is passing its work to us," he complained.

Dinesh Advani, vice president, Hotel and Restaurant Association Western India, said, "We need to seek some clarifications on the guidelines issued by the police. We are planning to meet the deputy commissioner of police."

Partygoers speak

"We expect the cops, and not hoteliers, to ensure our security. An offender will not take hotel security staff seriously or be deterred by them.

The police force should ensure that its personnel are trained properly so that we can party without fear," said Manisha Goel (27), an MNC employee.


Outside J W Marriott hotel, Juhu: Two couples were walking outside the JW Marriott Hotel in Juhu in the wee hours of January 1, 2008, when the girls, hailing from Gujarat and settled in the US, reacted to comments by a group of passersby.

The passersby got angry and groped and molested the women while holding their male friends back. Two newspaper photographers who happened to be at the spot shot pictures of the accused and lodged a police complaint.

At Gateway Of India: Drunk revellers stripped and molested a woman in public as her friend watched helplessly.

The incident took place just a few minutes before midnight on December 31, 2006 and was captured on camera by MiD DAY photographer Shadab Khan.


The following rules are to be observed at the time of conducting entertainment and amusement programmes on New Year*s Eve:
1) No person below the age of 18 years should be served alcohol
2) Only permit holders should be served liquor
3) Closing hours of restaurants and bars should be followed.
4) Hotel owners should make sure no obscene or indecent act takes place in the hotel
5) Safety of female guests should be ensured
6) Hotel owners should ensure no eve teasing takes place on their premises
7) No dancing is allowed in hotel premises, except for star category hotels.
8) Hotel owners should ensure that sufficient numbers of drivers are available for valet parking to avoid traffic jams.
9) Patrons* vehicles should not be parked on the street.
10) Sufficient number of CCTV cameras and hand-held and door frame metal detectors should be installed
11) Precautions should be taken to avoid overcrowding and stampedes
12) Entry and exit points should be manned
13) Noise pollution control rules should be strictly followed
14)The licensee should strictly abide by the rules.

(Issued by DCP HQ- Hotel Branch)

Deadline Dilemma

Hoteliers are also uncertain about getting permission from the police to stretch their deadline to 5 am instead of the regular 12.30 am despite the Home Department giving them clearance.

"We received a letter from the home department which gave us permission to remain open till 5am on December 24th, 25th and 31st.
However, some police stations denied permission for this on Christmas Eve saying it would create law and order problems in the city.

We fear that the same problem could arise on New Year*s Eve considering the red alert sounded by the police," he said.

When DCP Jadhav was asked about this, he said, "Why do the hotels and restaurants need to stay open so late when the city is on high alert? They already have a deadline.
The final say, however, rests with the Home Ministry."

New Year molestation Gateway CCTV cameras
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