Monday, September 19, 2011

Brody's Notes... Police In Mumbai Detain 133 In Raid Citing Indecent Behaviour

By Brody Levesque | OSHIWARA-MUMBAI, INDIA -- The police in the northern Mumbai suburb of Oshiwara staged a raid on a party at a beach house in the popular Versova Beach area early Sunday arresting 133 persons, including transgendered Bollywood film star Bobby Darling on charges of 'indecent behaviour.' 
Police arrested the party's organisers, Sharaj Jogani and Saleem Siraj, for not having obtained requisite permission to serve liquor at the party, while the DJ- DJ Babar- was arrested for not having a legal licence to play music. Police had raided the party after neighbours complained about the loud music that was being played.
The majority of the party goers were described as being "homosexual" by a police spokesperson who noted:
“The team found that those at the party were behaving in an indecent manner as defined under the Bombay Police Act so they were detained and asked to pay a fine of 1,200 Rupees each," said Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of the Oshiwara police.
The party organisers, Sharaj Jogani and Saleem Siraj, and DJ Babar were arrested under relevant sections of the Bombay Police Act. The trio was later released on bail. 
“The organisers had sent invites online and many who attended the party had paid 450 Rupees per person as entry fee,” Commissioner Dighavkar said.
Bobby Darling told reporters:
“I just went to the party as a celebrity guest on a professional level and charged for it. I was not aware it was a gay party. I did not see any form of indecent behaviour.
The actress added: “I doubt the police would have taken such action had it not been a gay party.”
Assistant Inspector Sanjay More from the Oshiwara Police Station acknowledged:
"Yes, we did arrest Bobby Darling. And we charged him for indecent behaviour. He was let off in the morning after he paid a bail of 12,500 Rupees."
Police actions in Mumbai and its suburbs are facing increasing backlash over enforcing what some see as draconian statues that define some actions including modern forms of dancing or even simply holding hands as 'indecent behaviour.' 
In July, the police raided a popular local night club, arresting 71 young persons dancing for what the police officialdom called indecent behaviour. That action, where the 71 nightclub attendees were detained for 3 hours and then fined 38000 rupees each, caused them to take their protests online with a Stop Moral Policing page on Facebook.
The recent actions by the police agencies around Mumbai prompted one Indian media outlet, NDTV,  to note:
If you like dancing or wearing party clothes, then Mumbai, often described as India's Manhattan, is not the place for you.