Social media users have strongly reacted to Mumbai Police rounding up around 40 couples from hotel rooms and detaining them on charges of “indecent behaviour in public”, sparking a debate on the right of unmarried couples to stay together in a hotel.
Consenting adults who checked into several hotels in Madh Island and Aksa area were shocked to find policemen knocking on the doors of their rooms on Thursday.
The couples were taken to the nearby police station, where they said they were insulted while some were even made to call their parents, the tabloid Mid-Day reported on Saturday.
The report said although the couples were inside hotel rooms, they were charged with “indecent behaviour in public” and fined Rs 1,200 before being let off nearly five hours later.
Mira Kamdar, a journalist with The New York Times, tweeted: "How can conduct in a private room be a public offense? Morality policing goes off rails in India."
"The BJP version of women's safety and women's rights. No surprises at all," commented Mitali Saran on Twitter.
A 21-year-old woman was quoted by the Mid-Day as saying she was slapped by a female constable when she questioned the harsh action and refused to pay any fine.
Another young man was quoted as saying: “The police first insulted all of us in front of all the officers and the other couples and then forced us to call our parents and insulted and disgraced us in front of them. They also made the parents feel guilty as if their children had committed some heinous crime.”
Here are some more tweets criticising the police action:
Allow spurious liquor sale, but arrest couples. Yes. Acche din are here: Mumbai Cops Pick up Couple From Hotel Rooms http://t.co/Jm9CZryvmk— raghu ram (@tweetfromRaghu) August 8, 2015
Someone should take on Mumbai's Sanghi cops by doing a sting video with a couple in a Hotel and seeing how much money the cops ask for!— Arun Nambiar (@aruns_nambiar) August 8, 2015
So now a couple eating a plate of chilli beef in a Mumbai hotel is a double offence #MumbaiPolice— Ťiger Ќing (@PuliArason) August 8, 2015