The Facebook group, Mumbai Unite, was created to address the issues being faced by the public as a result of the frequent raids being carried out at nightclubs and pubs around the city.
On Thursday, the initiators finally launched their independent website called
, and along with it, released a formal petition addressed to the Chief Minister, Prithviraj Chavan.
“The idea is to get at least one lakh signatures,” says Nisha Harale, event manager and model coordinator, who started the group. “Within the next two weeks, we need to go viral. So we are spreading the word on the Internet.”
Hours after the petition went online, actor Shruti Seth and music composer Vishal Dadlani were urging people on Twitter to support it, saying “Sign and RT this online petition to save Mumbai our fundamental rights from being violated (sic).”
“We are not saying this is only for Mumbaikars. This is for people all over India and even across the globe. Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city and the world is watching us for business and other opportunities. They need to know what is happening here. A lot of foreigners were also affected by the raids,” says Nisha.
While the four-page petition questions the system asking, “What is the reason for this sudden outburst?”, it also highlights statements saying, “…the behaviour of the Police, apart from being illegal, is also in contravention of one of the foremost principles of jurisprudence in any democratic society (sic)”.
And in the end, six demands are enlisted.
Adds Nisha, “Once we successfully go viral, we will start working on the on-ground activities in about two to three weeks. But the focus right now is on the online campaign. We don’t want people to get distracted.”
Excerpts from the Mumbai Unite petition
“We call upon the state government to…
...a committee of men with integrity and representatives of civil society be formed who may be given the task of suggesting amendments to the outdated Bombay Police Act, 1951, and the Bombay Prohibition Act, which has no rationale for existence any longer.
...the State should assess if every individual present at an event or venue should be subjected to such (blood/drug) tests on mere suspicion.
…damages must be paid to the victims who suffered physical injuries and their treatment paid for and compensation must be paid for loss of dignity and loss of reputation in front of peers.
The Mumbai Police must release a statement formally apologising to every victim who had undergone mental and physical trauma during these extra-legal searches.”