Having raised hackles by its moral policing, the law enforcers may have to answer a few uncomfortable questions about the raid at the Malad lounge.
On Saturday night, the police raided Oro lounge for playing DJ music without permission. The police had rounded up over 70 persons of which 31 were booked and fined for ‘indecent behaviour’. However, regulars claimed that a DJ always played at the lounge, even thought the establishment did not have a licence to do so. Why did the police turn a blind eye to it?
According to sources, zonal deputy commissioner of police, Mahesh Patil, had ordered the raid after he received information about the lounge playing music illegally.
When contacted, Patil said, “We booked around 31 persons under Section 110 of the Bombay Police Act for indecent behaviour.” The police claimed that the youngsters’ dancing was “objectionable” and “indecent”.
Maneesh Singh (name changed), an employee of a Malad-based call centre and one of the persons booked and fined, said, “There were couples that had come for dinner and were holding hands. And barely four or five men were dancing on the floor and there was nothing indecent about it. The 10 females present were also employees of nearby call centres and were dressed decently.”
Singh said he did not drink and was sitting with his friend after completing his shift. “It was the first Saturday of the month and we wanted to go out since we had received our salaries,” he said.
According to victims, five women in the lounge were wearing salwar kameez, one was wearing a short skirt and others were dressed in jeans and top.
Rohit Rathod (name changed), who was also booked, said, “I had entered the place 10 minutes before the police barged in. I have been going there for several months and have never come across any indecent behaviour. Most of us were not even drinking, but we were still fined.”
Suman Shetty (name changed), another person who was fined, asked, “Even if someone was behaving indecently, why were people like us fined just for going to the lounge?”
(With inputs from Nivedita Dargalkar))