When a young man in Bengaluru walked into PVR Cinemas at Bengaluru’s Forum Mall on Friday, little did he know that he would be subject to moral policing and a tongue-lashing from a self-righteous citizen and a cop for wearing a T-shirt that had the word “fu*king” written on it.
In a video of the incident posted on Facebook by Bengaluru-based freelance journalist Parul Agarwal, a middle-aged man can be seen questioning a young man wearing the ‘profane’ T-shirt. For most part of the 1 minute video, another man, a police man, can be seen to be mute spectator and adding to the man’s moral tirade.
The man was questioned for wearing “indecent” clothes to a public place, and was given a lecture on maintaining decency at a place where families frequent. He was also asked to get a new T-shirt and enter the cinema hall by the policeman.
“What are you wearing? How many families are coming here. Wear something else and come. What is this?” the self-proclaimed protector of morality questions the young man in English, pointing to his T-shirt.
The News Minute is not publishing the video as we are unable to reach out to the person wearing the T-shirt at the moment.
In the video, the young man is seen attempting to reason with the confronters, stating that the T-shirt was available in the market after all, and that there was nothing wrong in wearing it. However, intimidated, the young man decides to walk away. At this point, the policeman asks him to return and instructs him in Kannada to change his T-shirt and only then return. The young man appears to not follow the local language. The “moralist” then proceeds to translate the cop’s words to the young man. The incident does not end here. The police personnel proceeds to take a photograph of the young man, to which he objects.
Parul Agarwal, who filmed the whole incident told The News Minute that the incident occurred around 3 45 pm on Friday.
“The man in red was probably on his way to the washroom, when the “moralist” spotted him. He then approached a policeman who was standing nearby. The duo then stopped the young man and questioned him,” Parul told The News Minute.
At the point when the young man objects to the policeman clicking his photograph, Parul says that she and a few others intervened.
“The police man then told us that he was only there because the other man had called him. He then proceeded to call another police officer, who later arrived and dispersed the crowd,” she added.
DCP South East Boralingaiah told The News Minute that necessary action will be taken after watching the video.
“I am aware of the incident, but I haven’t seen the said footage and so cannot comment on the policeman’s action. I don’t have full details of the case as of now and so I will reserve my comment. There are departmental disciplinary actions that can be taken against the police personnel, but we will decide that after studying the matter,” the DCP said.
Parul has also got in touch with Bengaluru City Police through their Twitter handle and apprised them of the incident.
“They have asked me to mail them the details of the incident. I also have another video where the police man is speaking and is identifiable. When I enquired about the legal aspect of the issue, I was told that Section 293 (whoever does any obscene act in public place) will not be applicable in this case. SC advocate KV Dhananjay has opined that the young man could not be charged, since the interpretation of the section was important. The section that does prohibit vulgarity takes into consideration the magnanimity, impact and provocation aspect.”