September 18, 2014 1:03:49 am
TWO days after a couple was fined by the Dindoshi police for alleged indecent behaviour, giving rise to accusations of moral policing, the Mumbai Police on Wednesday said it was a “one-off” incident while admitting that the police personnel got carried away while enforcing an anti-eve teasing drive. The personnel were issued a warning and instructions had also been issued to all police stations in the city, officials said.
On September 15, Bhayander resident Runcil Rebellow (24) and his friend Cheryl Godinho (25) were fined by the police for allegedly behaving indecently in public outside Oberoi Mall in Goregaon east. They were sitting on a bench outside the mall after watching a movie when the alleged incident took place.
On Wednesday, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Dhananjay Kamalakar said, “The personnel were part of the anti-eve teasing squads that were formed during Ganeshotsav. These squads have been instructed to take every possible measure to ensure safety of women in the city. This was a one-off incident where the personnel got carried away leading to misconduct on their part. We have issued a warning against them.”
Kamalakar added that instructions against such behaviour had also been issued across the city. “We have instructed all the zonal deputy commissioners of police to keep an eye on the squads in their zones. We are also sensitising personnel from the squads over the next few days,” he said.
The Dindoshi police, meanwhile, claimed that the couple was fined as they misbehaved with police personnel.
“The couple had started misbehaving with the police officers and hence were fined Rs 1,200 for misbehaviour and misconduct. They can take the matter to court if they have any grudges,” said Dafle.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone XII) Panjabrao Ugale said, “To establish the facts of the incident we will conduct an inquiry at the police station level.”
Recounting the ordeal, Rebello said, “We were sitting outside the main entrance of the mall when four men in civil clothes approached us, telling us that they were police personnel. They asked us to come to the police van because we were ‘behaving indecently’. We repeatedly asked them for their identity proof but they refused. When they caught me by the arm to take me towards the van, my girlfriend lost her temper, which is when a policewoman started taking a video on her cell phone. When we finally went to the Dindoshi police station, there was another couple there. I never spoke with them but I assumed that they too were pulled up by the police for ‘indecent behaviour in public.”
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