'Before pubs, install CCTVs at BMC, Vidhan Bhavan'

Published: Nov 05, 2012, 07:06 IST | Urvashi Seth |

Following the police's demand for setting up of CCTV cameras in bars and nightclubs across Mumbai, protesters are now proposing that cops do the same for government offices

In a tit-for-tat move against the Mumbai police, anti-Dhoble protesters and partygoers now want CCTV cameras to be installed in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters and Vidhan Bhavan. The protesters have started a signature campaign following the demands made by the Mumbai police for installing CCTV cameras in pubs and discotheques.

Anti-Dhoble protesters
No reason to party: Anti-Dhoble protesters have demanded that the police first curb corruption before targeting Mumbai’s nightlife. File pic

The group has decided to collect signatures of all those in support and demand the setting up of cameras at the BMC headquarters and Vidhan Bhavan, where they allege that corruption runs rampant.

“Every now and then, the Mumbai police comes up with some such issue or problem. This is absolutely unfair. If one pub has violated the rules, why should the others be punished? The cops just want to invade the privacy of partygoers,” said Rahul Kanal, a Bandra resident. Kanal is also a crusader who fought against ACP Vasant Dhoble’s alleged moral policing.

Officers in charge of the city’s ‘south region’ recently held a meeting with the managements of pubs, eateries and bars in the area, asking them to install CCTV cameras inside their establishments so that cops can keep track of violations. However, the idea was not welcomed.

The proposal was to collect the footage on a weekly or fortnightly basis and if any violations of law were found, the cops would conduct a raid.

“We will be writing a letter to the chief minister requesting him not to kill the nightlife by creating laws that are neither practical, nor feasible. Let the government install CCTV cameras on the premises of the BMC and Vidhan Bhavan where corruption takes place the most. Let them man their own people first before invading our privacy,” Kanal added.

“Cameras are used in pubs to mainly help serve patrons and not to show private parties or conversations to the police or public. No patrons will come to our bar or pub if they come to know that cameras are installed. I support the cause,” said Mahek Raina, a bar owner.

LIV raid
The MRA Marg police recently raided the LIV lounge bar at Kala Ghoda for staying open beyond the 1.30 am deadline. According to the patrons, nearly 200 of its guests were taken to the police station and kept there without explanation. 

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