A notorious ladies bar in Kashimira was raided twice in 24 hours. Once by the local police for indulging in obscene acts on Wednesday night and on the very next day by the anti-human trafficking unit (AHTU) of the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar police commissionerate for exploiting women by forcing them into indecent, obscene and vulgar activities in the establishment.
The raids have been conducted at Hotel Bumper on the highway in Kashimira. However, the police were conducting raids once in a blue moon and applying lenient sections like 294 (obscene acts and songs) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Free Press Journal had highlighted the need of slapping sections of the stringent Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women Act 2016 against the actual beneficiaries including the bar operators and owners for exploiting women in an indecent, obscene and vulgar manner.
Unlike the first raid in which the women were rounded up and named as accused, the AHTU team led by API Devidas Handore rescued two women and booked seven people including the owner, bar staffers and soliciting customers under the relevant sections of the Protection of Dignity of Women Act.
As per the provisions under the law enacted in 2016, the accused can be sentenced to five years imprisonment and fined up to rupees 25 lakh, police said.
However, to ensure conviction the video clips captured by the police decoy or informers prove to be strong evidence to establish ongoing vulgar acts and showering of money. Nevertheless, some bar owners have remained unfazed by the repeated police action, as the highway belt continues to retain its tag of housing dens indulged in immoral trade by taking undue advantage of relaxations which allowed them to operate post the coronavirus-induced lockdown.