Ragini had planned the perfect celebration. A candle-lit dinner, with her boyfriend Mehul and some close friends, at her house. The perfect 1st-anniversary celebration. Except she hadn’t anticipated Hawaldar Rao and his colleague Chandra Reddy inviting themselves over. Apparently, the inspectors had paid them a visit, after noticing a couple of cars parked outside a house lit only with candles. “The four of us were just done with dinner and were chilling out on the terrace when we heard someone’s voice downstairs. We went downstairs to see two policemen in my drawing room” says Ragini, who is renting an independent house in XYZ Layout, Bangalore.
Ragini’s boyfriend Mehul further elaborates “They might have knocked once, before entering. One of them kept saying that it was a negligence on our part to leave the door unlocked. Though we apologized, they weren’t satisfied. In fact, that’s when they sat on our shoulders and demanded we go with them to the station on account of negligence to lock the door. Moreover, they kept saying we were unknown guys in an unknown girl’s house beyond an unknown time, which was a crime. After that heck of a line, we were given the option to either appear in court the next day or pay the fine there and then, which apparently was three thousand rupees. And when I asked for the receipt, they said I could collect it from the chowki, if I wanted it that bad. Unbelievable!”
When contacted, the SI at the local station, brushed off the matter saying “I wasn’t there personally, but you must report the entire story, of how in such cases, we find them indulging in immoral activities and let them off with nothing but a warning. We have a responsibility towards our society and it’s our duty to safeguard all its interests. I’m sure those kids are exaggerating the facts. In this case, my men pointed out to the resident, that her door was open, and this is what we get in return. We have absolutely no interest in being party spoilers, and such irresponsible kids and the media are the ones drawing a shabby picture of the police force.”
Ragini, however, maintains that the door was completely closed. “Maybe it wasn’t locked, but I’m sure it was closed. How can they just barge into a girl’s house at the dead of the night and demand money? Also, they spoke only in kannada and were completely drunk.”
Youngsters living in the city often complain that unlike Mumbai and Delhi, where clubs and restaurants remain open till about 3am, the 11:30 pm curfew in Bangalore is a mood damper, which is why they have to plan parties at home and risk waking up the neighbours or paying fines. Ajay, an engineer and a resident of XYZ layout, however, points out “Girls generally are noisier and drunk girls are worse. We bachelors are awake till about 2am every weekend watching football and having chilled beer. Neither have we bothered anyone nor has anyone bothered us.”