#India – Police says’ stay indoors to avoid sexual harassment on streets” #WTFnews #morapolicing #Vaw

Dreaded Bombay Police Act strikes again

Stay indoors to avoid ched-chad

Overzealous Thane cops fine unmarried couples and single women found on the streets after sunset as part of their drive to protect ladies

Arita Sarkar, Mumbai Mirror

Posted On Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 04:37:34 AM

Inspector Vasant Dhoble, all set to be transferred to Thane, will soon find himself in good company: Thane police has launched a special anti-harassment squad, Ched-chad Virodhi Pathak that books young, unmarried couples out on the streets after dark under section 110 of the Bombay Police Act for “causing public nuisance.”

Young couple are fined Rs 1200 and given a humiliating lecture on morality before they are let go. If they don’t have the money, their parents are summoned and asked to pay up.

Since the drive was started on December 16, 64 people have been booked under the section 110 of the Bombay Police Act and fined. Anamika Sengupta, head of recruitment at an IT company, who was stopped by the police when she was out for a walk with a male companion at 8 pm, said she was told to “stay indoors.”

Anamika has since complained about the patrolling squad’s behaviour to the senior inspector of Manpada police station Ramakant Mahire. The drive was launched following the December 3 murder of Santosh Vichivora, 19, at Dombivili, who had intervened when five teenagers made lewd remarks aimed at his neighbour who was returning home from work. The way the police see it had Santosh and his lady friend not been walking together in public, the incident would not have happened.

The 15-member plainclothes squad now roams the streets of Thane looking out for unmarried couples and single women in ‘isolated spots.’ The ‘suspicious elements’ are given an earful, often asked to go home, and fined. The police have also roped in authorities from the four colleges and eight high schools in their jurisdiction.

Principals of these co-education institutions have been told to instruct their students to wear their identity cards at all times. The police said even students who are alone without their IDs are taken to the station and fined.

“Nobody should sit in corners and isolated places unnecessarily even in day time,” said Manpada senior inspector Mahire. “Ever since we started this drive, we have ensured that nobody is out on the streets after 10 pm and this has brought down crime.” He is convinced that the drive has helped curb crime against women.

According to him, Vichivora’s murder was not a result of sexual harassment. He said had the girl and boy not been walking together so late in the night (the incident happened around 10 pm) the incident would not have happened. Thane police commissioner KP Raghuvanshi who has not accounted for the overzealousness of his cops on the ground said that the intent behind the drive was not to harass young couples or single women.

“It is meant to target road Romeos and molesters. Our plainclothes squad is supposed to identify and book them.” In fact, the Thane police have also issued a well-intentioned and useful pamphlet with helpline numbers.



Bangalore police do a Dhoble, replace hockey stick with handycam #moralpolicing

Outrage after policemen begin filming couples in city’s famous Cubbon Park

Hemanth.Kashyap mirrorfeedback@indiatimes.com
BANGALORE , DEc 3, 2012

Taking a leaf out of Mumbai’s hockey stick-wielding cop Vasant Dhoble, who had hit the headlines for his crackdown against pubs and restaurants, the Bangalore police have armed its force with cameras to curb ‘immorality’ in the city.
For the past two weeks, ‘armed’ policemen have been tailing lovers at the famous Cubbon Park, known for its dense green foliage and ample private space, sparking an outrage. “This ridiculous and another example of Bangalore police’s direct encroachment into the lives of citizens,” K S Vimala, vice-president, Akhila Bharata Janawadi Mahila Sanghatan,said.“Thisisafreecountry and we all have our right to a moment… right to express.”
The police say they had to resort to the measure following several complaints of misbehaviour and indecent acts in public places.
“You have to see the park to understand why we have taken this measure,” a senior police officer said. “Policemen have been told not to disturb couples who are not misbehaving.Ifacouplecrossestheline, they will first be told politely. If they continue, cops will aim the camera at the couple, pretending to shoot. In extreme cases, however, they will take shots and use it as evidence, if need be. With this good intention, we have taken this step,” he said.
Though police claim that ‘immoral’ acts have come down, not manyareimpressedbytheintrusion into their private lives.
“Indecent or immoral are debatable terms; nobody can be a judge of that,” Vimala said.
“This type of moral policing is not acceptable at all,” she added.
Slamming the police action, Advocate Chandrika Pateel said, “It is unlawful to capture someone’s image without permission, especially in his/her private moments. No rule states that a couple can’t hold hands in public, but if the police think so, let them catch those who smoke in public rather than those who breathe fresh air in parks,” Chandrika Pateel, advocate, said.
Inspector Badrinath of Cubbon parkpolicestationinsistedthatthey were not harassing anyone. “It is an effort to control illegal and immoralactivitiesinthepark.Bangaloreans are proud to have such a big and beautiful park in the city. We should maintain its values and beauty. There is no intention to harass people. Also, the law allows us to book a nuisance case against thoseengagingindecentactsatsuch places.”

Armed with a camera, a policeman approaches a couple in Cubbon Park, Bangalore. Right: Terrified, the lovers flee the spot


ACP Vasant Dhoble: Safety cop or hoodlum in a uniform?

Jun 21, 2012



Republished from Mumbai Boss

If you ever chance upon a diminutive figure in Bandra who is talking to herself while reading a newspaper, that would be me. To preserve what little I know of the English language, I’d abandoned reading newspapers a couple of years ago. I’ve recently restarted and these days, I try to read between three to four dailies. I’ve found the only way to make it through all of them is by pushing myself towards dissociative identity disorder; that is, by talking myself through the process of reading the reports. It’s a bit like being both the horse and Robert Redford in The Horse Whisperer. I get stared at a lot as a result, but there is the occasional silver lining. For example, this week, thanks to Vasant Dhoble and Mumbai’s middle classes, I won a bet against myself.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble heads the Social Service Branch of the Mumbai Police. For those who were unaware of the SS Branch till Dhoble entendres filled their virtual world, it is one of the most coveted departments as far as the city’s policemen are concerned. Its official responsibility is to prevent the city from sinking into moral turpitude, which translates to the possibility of bribes from a wide range of citizens, from street side sellers of pirated DVDs to owners of swanky nightclubs. Not that Dhoble sir, whose preferred weapon is a hockey stick, is looking for a bribe. Consider Dhoble’s fine career record for a moment. In the past, he’s been booked for a custodial death, “kept out of active posting” for his violent behaviour and in 2008, when Dhoble was working for the Crime Branch, he managed to lose 12 files that had information on Dawood Ibrahim’s gang. Isn’t this just the kind of guy who makes you feel warm and fuzzy and safe when you’re on Mumbai’s roads?

Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble heads up the Social Service Branch of the Mumbai Police. IBN-Live Screengrab

At present, Dhoble is in the news not for his earlier feats but because he’s been labelled as the murderer of Mumbai nightlife. His mission to harass both drinking establishments as well as those who frequent them has infuriated sections of the middle classes who figure that as citizens of a democracy, they have the right to go to a bar without being labelled pimp or prostitute.

While Dhoble has shown up at various places in recent times, hockey stick and video camera in hand, his actions became front-page material once again last week when it was reported that he made Café Zoe pay a fine because it was violating a law from 1960 that is supposed to prevent overcrowding. The newspapers and the Internet were awash with outrage (even the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna got into the act). Reading the articles, most of which were examples of how not to report a story, I asked myself, “What’s the bet that in a couple of days, there’ll be pro-Dhoble campaigns?” Myself replied, “What nonsense.” I had the last laugh.


The support came from unexpected quarters. Journalist Samar Halarnkar on Twitter may have been the inspiration: “So, bombay [sic] is outraging over Vasant #dhoble. Except he’s only enforcing foolish laws.” Soon enough, columnist Harini Calamur suggested Dhoble was just “a cop doing his job” and enforcing laws that were meant for our safety. The H-West Federation, which represents residents of Bandra, Khar and Santacruz (West), passed a resolution in support of Dhoble. “He is only doing his duty,” said the chairperson of the Federation. Blogger Gayatri Vishwanathan wrote, “If everything is ‘right’… no mai kaa lal can accuse you of doing anything ‘wrong’.”

The fact that the justification for Dhoble’s actions and attitudes is the law is something by which I’m both appalled and amused. Because when you roam around Mumbai, the only laws you see being broken are the ones about overcrowding and the possession of alcohol permits, of course. And how cutely naïve is Vishwanathan’s faith in the system!

The city’s cops have never had a reputation of being clean. It’s perhaps naïve to expect those who must work with and against politicians, the underworld and terrorists to preserve a secure status quo to also be upstanding citizens. But to justify their behaviour by describing them as law-abiding is ironic, to say the least. It’s as though Dhoble is a remote-control cop, with the controls being in the hands of The Law. As though the police never, ever do anything that’s illegal.

Arun Ferreira, one of the more articulate victims of police brutality, must be making things up when he says the police tortured and arrested him despite there being no evidence that Ferreira was a Naxalite. They went to the extent of lying in court in order to justify their custodial treatment of Ferreira. So much for being bound by law and doing one’s job.

Frankly, being of a vaguely anti-social disposition, whether or not Mumbai’s nightlife gets murdered is of little consequence to me. As long as the state doesn’t go dry, I’ll be nursing my drink and my multiple personalities at home, thank you very much. However, Dhoble’s brazen behaviour is alarming, regardless of whether or not you’re a party animal. He makes obvious a truth that the more affluent middle classes are usually shielded from: that the police are not necessarily your go-to guys in times of need. Whether your watering hole is a club in Lower Parel or a dive in Bhayander, the odds are now even and if the police pick your spot as their playing field, you’re no longer safe. In Dhoble’s actions lies the message that the police won’t shy away from flexing their muscles. They’ll just be enforcing the law; not vicitimising people or framing innocents.

This article republished from Mumbai Boss was written by Deepanjana Pal


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