Culture Vultures On the Prowl Again

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Thane: Police in Maharashtra’s Thane district have been accused of moral policing after a video emerged showing a boy being beaten up allegedly for travelling in an auto-rickshaw with the girl.

In the video recorded on a mobile phone yesterday, two policemen are seen beating up and verbally abusing a young couple in an incident that took place at Ulhasnagar near Thane.

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According to eye-witnesses, a senior police inspector from the Hill Line police station approached the couple who were seated in a rickshaw and started beating up the boy and verbally abusing the girl.

After beating them up, the police had allowed the couple to leave.

Justifying their act, the police have said that allegations of public indecency were made against the couple. Police officers refused to comment or take further questions on the incident.

In the last four months alone there have been at least two such incidents across Mumbai. In November, a couple was thrashed inside the Andheri police station. Then too, the police had claimed the couple were indulging in indecent behaviour outside the police station.

In August this year, senior police officers were pulled up by then Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria after a huge outcry against alleged incidents of moral policing.

On August 6, the police had dragged out 60 people from hotels and lodges in Mumbai’s Madh Island and Aksa area and took them to a police station, where they were allegedly humiliated and detained for hours.

Thirteen couples were fined for indecent behaviour in public and one young woman alleged that she was slapped by a woman constable when she refused to pay the fine.

The police have said they were acting on complaints by locals in the area who complained of “public indecency”, prostitution and drunk people creating a ruckus at the hotels.

After the outrage, police had said they will no longer take action against anyone under Section 110 (public indecency) of the Bombay Police Act, 1951.

(with NDTV Inputs)

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