Directed by Deputy Commissioner Vikram Deshpande, Malwani police officers barged into the rooms of various hotels in Madh Island and Aksa and rounded up couples who they then charged with indecent behaviour in public, (notwithstanding the fact the couples were consenting adults who had booked rooms to get some privacy).
Over 40 couples were taken to the police station where they were insulted and some college students were made to call their parents. The lovers were charged and fined Rs.1,200 and let off some 5 hours later.
One woman age 19 said she is contemplating suicide because of the stigma and because her parents weren’t talking to her anymore. Another 21 year old who went to a hotel with her fiance was slapped by a female constable for protesting. She had broken no laws as making love to a person of one’s choice in a private room does not amount to indecent behaviour in public, she said.
Twitterati slams the ‘moral policing’
Two days later tweets slamming the ‘moral policing’ went viral, as a Mumbai police spokesperson said the Malwani police acted upon several complaints from the public and local residents, and on the same day police picked up some drunk men from Aksa beach, as well as 13 couples behaving indecently in public spaces. All 64 of them were charged and each paid a fine. Police also checked guesthouses in Aksa and arrested 3 ladies.