Moral policing or surveillance?
The police in the capital city are at the receiving end for allegedly ‘moral policing’ a couple on the Museum premises on Tuesday
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Days after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan instructed the police to take stringent action against moral policing, the police here are at the receiving end for allegedly ‘moral policing’ a couple on the Museum premises on Tuesday.
The lover couple was initially warned and later taken into custody after allegedly sitting in an ‘indecent’ position. The incident took place around 3 pm when the couple, Vishnu and Arathi, was sitting close to each other on a chair.
Two police officers, including a woman officer, attached to the Museum police who were passing by asked them about their whereabouts. This prompted Arathi to take visuals and stream it live on Facebook.
Vishnu asked the police: “What’s wrong if I place my hand on her shoulder? Did you see us kiss? Are you enforcing morality?’’ In the three-minute Facebook video, the woman officer is heard asking Arathy whether she did not have parents at home.
Vishnu repeatedly defends their action saying it’s wrong to consider a man and woman sitting close to each other as vulgar. The police took them to the police station and informed their parents. Though the parents came to the station, they left the issue to the couple saying they were not interested in intervening.
“We were asked whether we are going to marry or not. If not, this was not the place for us, said the officers. It’s a violation of human rights and they took us to the station alleging public nuisance. Later, they preached us on behaving in the public. Whatever the police did cannot be justified,” said Vishnu.
When ‘Express’ contacted the Museum police, an officer said the couple were taken into custody as they did not reveal their identity.
“We just warned them as the couple showed some obscene gestures. We took them to the police station to take their names. But they created a scene by calling the media and posting the video on social media. It is learnt Arathy had left her house earlier to live with Vishnu. We did not engage in any kind of moral policing,” said Museum SI G Sunil.