More than a hundred people, predominantly youth, were booked for disobeying police orders after citizens went ahead with their plan to hold a protest rally against assistant police commissioner of police (ACP) Vasant Dhoble's crackdown on pubs and restaurants and the 'archaic' governing the police action.
The rally was held on Carter Road, Bandra, on Sunday evening, despite police orders denying the organisers permission. General secretary of the Youth Congress, Rahul Kanal, one of the organisers of Sunday evening's rally, was among those booked. However, no arrests were made.
"They did not have permission to organise the rally and yet, they went ahead with it. We have booked them under section 135 of the Bombay Police Act for disobedience of an order issued by the police," said Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police, zone 9.
According to the act, the offender can be sentenced to up to one years' imprisonment and is also liable for a fine. However, in the absence of police sanction, the rally witnessed a low turnout and only around 200 people showed up, as against organisers' expected turnout of more than a thousand.
Most celebrities and political leaders who had pledged support also stayed away, said one of the organisers.
Youth formed a major part of the protesters at Sunday's rally, which criticised the methods used by Dhoble during his recent raids on pubs and bars. The protest march began at Carter Road and ended at the Bandra amphitheatre.
"We will approach the local politicians with a youth delegation against the archaic laws and brutal ways of ACP Dhoble, which we expect will reach the chief minister within a week," said Kanal.
Choreographer Sandip Soparkar, present at the rally, said, "Authorities need to adopt less harsh ways to deal with alcohol abuse. The youth needs to be treated sensitively instead of being beaten with hockey sticks".