Police Say No Official Timings At Juhu Beach, Mumbaikars Demand Liberty At Night

Police Say No Official Timings At Juhu Beach, Mumbaikars Demand Liberty At Night

Activist Zoru Bathena had sought information from the Santacruz police earlier in April under the RTI act.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Friday, May 03, 2024, 10:26 AM IST
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JUHU BEACH | (PTI Photo)

While every Mumbaikar has been turned out from Juhu beach by the police around midnight, the recent Right To Information reply from the Santacruz police about no order or notification to evict people from the beach after midnight has come out as an oxymoron to their daily act. The RTI reply has sparked conversation among Mumbaikars about restrictions to visit other beaches and seaside areas during night.

The favourite place for Mumbaikars to beat the summer heat is any one of the many beaches in the city. Juhu beach, the most crowded among all of them, sees heavy traffic during this season and people stay back at the beach till late hours to enjoy the cool breeze coming from the direction of the sea. However, around midnight the visitors at the beach are asked to leave by the police, which motivated an individual to file an RTI with the police.

Activist Zoru Bathena had sought information from the Santacruz police earlier in April under the RTI act to provide the copy of an order or notification regardings timings for police to restrict entry to citizens to walk at Juhu beach. Responding to the RTI on April 29, Santacruz police replied that, “No such official record is available with Santacruz police station”.

The Free Press Journal contacted Bathena, who said that he had earlier raised the issue with the deputy commissioner of police but received no help. “The police patrolling on the beach is for the security of people, not to harass them. Every day, people who visit Juhu beach are subjected to moral policing only for being present at the beach at night. It is not the police’ role to tell people when they can visit the beach and when they can not, and it has been proved with this RTI,” he said.

Police’ reply to this RTI has gone viral over the social media and Mumbaikars are coming together to raise their voice against similar evictions and at Girgaon Chowpatty, Bandra Bandstand, Marine Drive and other seaside locations at midnight. Netizens are demanding liberty to freely roam at such public places without any moral policing.

“This issue is not restricted to Juhu beach. It is happening at all the public places like Marine Drive and Chowpatty. Just like the police carry out patrolling in trains at night for security, they need to let people enjoy the sea without giving them any false sense of wrongdoing. More the people present at public places during the night, the lesser are the chances of any crime happening,” said Bathena.

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