Bhayandar: It was a sight that brought pedestrian and vehicular movement to a halt on the highway between Dahisar checkpoint and Kashimira junction, as cops paraded around 50 bars girls, picked from their workplace, and led them to the police station on Saturday night.
Although police officials shrugged off the action as routine, which was intended to deter illegal activities in the orchestra bars, the unusual ‘procession’ has ignited a major controversy.
By a curious coincidence, Senior Police Inspector Ram Bhalsingh had taken charge just 72 hours earlier. And what better way to set an example than round up bar girls from outlets in his jurisdiction in Kashimira.
The bar girls, led by men in khaki, were made to march on the highway, much to the amusement of curious onlookers -- some of whom captured the entire drama on mobile phones. In a few minutes, the video clips went viral on social media platforms.
“It was just a preventive measure, as we wanted to ensure that everything was in order and to convey a message that nothing illegal or obscene will be tolerated.
The staffers were made to walk to a nearby police station in order to avoid the heavy traffic on account of the ongoing Metro work,” said Bhalsingh, defending his action.
Interestingly, no case was registered and the bar girls and other staffers were immediately let off with a warning.
“I have ordered a probe into the incident,” said SP Dr Shivaji Rathod. “The women were led like criminals. Is it not outraging their modesty and a violation of the Protection of Dignity of Women Act?” asked a bar owner, requesting anonymity.
Nevertheless, as is their wont, bar owners remained unfazed by the police action, which is no wonder as this highway stretch is dotted with similar dens.