Mumbai: Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria has ordered an investigation into the last week's raids at hotels and lodges during which couples were allegedly detained and harassed by the police. The alleged police action - dragging out consenting couples from hotel rooms - faced widespread criticism from the civil society.
The police have claimed the raids were held at the hotels of Aksa Beach following complaints by locals regarding acts of "public indecency", soliciting and drunken ruckus. But some of the couples reportedly said they were humiliated and harassed and the local media even quoted one woman as saying that a woman constable had slapped her.
New CCTV footage from one of the hotels purportedly show the police arriving for the raid, making the staff stand outside and forcibly taking couples to the police station.
The managing director of one of the guest houses, Harish Shetty, said the police claimed they were acting on the orders of the Deputy Commissioner of Police.
"They came and locked all gates, didn't allow anyone to leave. We had 17 guests. A lady police constable knocked on all doors and checked them," he said.
The police had forced everyone visit the police station and fined them Rs 1,200, Mr Shetty said. Even the guest house staffers were fined.
"One of the women had come with her fiance. Asked embarrassing questions, she slapped one of the lady constables. The lady constable hit her back. The next day the woman came to me and asked me to reimburse the fine she was required to pay," he said.
Several officers of the Malwani police, which was involved in the crackdown, had been suspended for allegedly allowing a spurious liquor racket to flourish, which cost 100 lives last month.