Shun moral policing: Thane police chief

Thane Police Commissioner K P Raghuvanshi has issued orders instructing all police personnel to refrain from indulging in moral policing when it comes to ensuring safety of women. Raghuvanshi's orders, issued on Saturday, state that couples should be left alone unless they are seen indulging in indecent behaviour.

The circular comes in the wake of allegations of police-highhandedness in Thane and of special squads of Thane police enforcing a 'curfew' on single women after dark.

"Police personnel have been instructed to focus more on eve-teasers and anti-social elements that tend to target couples sitting in parks and other such places, as it is these elements that lead to crimes," Raghuvanshi said.

The orders also state that patrolling constables, in the name of ensuring security, should not ask questions to couples that would make them feel awkward, as such behaviour not only makes the police's initiative stray from its purpose, but would also create a feeling of distrust towards the police in the minds of the public.

Thane was recently in the eye of controversy when some residents made allegations that girls were being instructed to stay indoors in the evening in order to avoid incidents of crimes against women.

Raghuvanshi had at the time, denied the allegations.

Police officers adopted a defensive stance, saying there was never any moral policing in the first place and that steps were only being taken to avoid any untoward incidents.

"It is a fact that anti-social elements target couples and they have to be kept in check. There have been instances of rapes at spots that are frequented by couples," said Assistant Commissioner of Police (Dombivli division) Rajan Ghule.

Santosh Vicchivora, a 20-year-old Dombivli resident, had been killed when he took on a group of young men that were allegedly eve-teasing his female friend.

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