The outrage over Mumbai police’s illegal detention of 31 youngsters at a Malad lounge bar is unlikely to die down soon.
Netizens who have been registering their protests online on blogs, social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook, now feel the time is right to move their protest offline and are planning rallies and seminars in the city to make sure that their voice isn’t drowned out or forgotten.
"We are in the process or organising a protest rally either this weekend or next weekend. A seminar will also be held where senior police officials, social workers, youth representatives and senior lawyers will be invited to speak on the subject and debate on the incident," says Jenny, who was present when the raid took place and started the page ‘Stop Moral Policing in Mumbai’ on Facebook.
Her first reaction to the incident was “shock and disbelief”. Details, timing and venues of both events will be put up on the Facebook page and everyone’s invited. Jenny says, “If you don’t start, you will never know the outcome.” Apart from this, an official representation will be made to the State Human Rights Commission and on behalf of the women present, they are also writing to the National Commission for Women.
There are also plans to have an annual event each year on the day. “July 2 will go down in history as Anti-Moral Police Day in Mumbai at least,” says Jenny. With others logging in their protest, the Facebook page receiving 350 ‘likes’ at the time of going to press. Som Banerjee writes, “Unbelievable ... what comes next ... imprisonment for not going to bed at 10?” Karthik Yermunja opines, “It’s weird that urinating and defecating in public are accepted/tolerated, but holding hands and eating dinner in a restaurant in peace is indecent!”
To know more, head to www.facebook.com/stop.moral.police
On Saturday, policemen raided the lounge bar Oro in Malad (W). They found the establishment using a disc jockey to play music without the necessary permissions and found young men and women “dancing indecently”. More than 70 youths were detained and taken to the Bangur Nagar police station, 31 were fined Rs 1,200 each under the Bombay Police Act for ‘indecency’.