Mumbai: In Mumbai, Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble has been provoking fierce criticism for serving as the moral police. On his watch, nightclubs have been raided, patrons have been harassed.
They were arrested during a raid led by Mr Dhoble at a restaurant in Andheri last week for being prostitutes. The women – who are sisters – say they were attending a birthday party and have submitted documents in court to establish the source of their income.
Assistant Commissioner Vasant Dhoble, accused of enforcing what many believe are archaic nightlife regulations, has said he is simply following orders. “I am just doing my job. If the provision of Bombay Police Act is archaic, the IPC is invoked in 1860,” he told NDTV.
“We were not conducting raids, we were just ensuring that rules and regulations are implemented. We aren’t curbing the night life, let the people enjoy. We are just implementing the law,” Mr Dhoble added.
A Facebook group set up last month called “Dhoble – Oppressor of the Innocent Public” now has more than 20,000 members. Another, Mumbai Unite, wants to drum up enough support to hold a peace march.
“There’s something wrong with the system,” said journalist Serena Menon, who set up “SOS: Mumbai’s nightlife”, a third group. “Bombay was known for its nightlife less than a decade ago and now things have changed dramatically.”