The students met with Isha Pant, DCP South East, who promised that police officials would be given sensitisation training.

How Bengaluru students took on moral policing by cops got their attentionStudents with DCP Isha Pant
news Moral policing Friday, March 29, 2019 - 15:42

A social media campaign by a group of college students in Bengaluru recently brought to light alleged moral policing and harassment at the hands of police officials in the city. On Thursday, four of these students met with Isha Pant, DCP South East, to discuss the matter and were assured that police officials would be sensitised on the matter.

The campaign which was run on Instagram and Twitter with hashtags like #NoMoreAbuse and #StopPowerAbuse was an effort by students of Christ University. Some of them had allegedly faced harassment or assault or intimidation by police, and one policewoman in particular.

Amogh Rayanker, a student who allegedly experienced moral policing and harassment from the woman police officer, was also among the party that met Isha Pant. “We asked her why such incidents of moral policing were happening. She told us that it was because many of the officials, especially at lower rungs, are not as sensitised and educated. So, their moral biases may come into play when they do their job,” Amogh tells TNM.

“She told us that she would be taking up sensitisation for police officials in her jurisdictions to address the matter,” he adds.

Speaking to TNM, DCP Isha confirmed meeting the students. "I would like to meet them again along with other students to understand the issues they are facing in detail. I intend to go to their college and interact with them for the same after elections in May,” she says. She added that she would take up sensitisation for police officials against moral policing in her jurisdiction after that.

As for the policewoman who allegedly harassed Amogh, the DCP said that she had spoken to the officer in question. “She seemed to understand why what she was doing was wrong. She is presently on election duty,” Isha says, dismissing reports of the officer being transferred.

The campaign

It all started when Amogh Rayanker, an 18-year-old journalism student at Christ University, was allegedly harassed by the policewoman in SG Palya while he was waiting for a bus along with a woman friend on February 14 this year.

On Instagram, Amogh posted his ordeal in stories, screenshots of which were compiled on Twitter.

Amogh alleged that the policewoman snatched his phone when he attempted to record her actions and threatened to slap a petty case on him. He said that he was forced to go to the police station if he wanted to get his phone back, and claims that on the way there, he was subjected to verbal abuse. At the police station, Amogh said that police officials attempted to intimidate him and ultimately let him go.

A few days later, a blogger said on Instagram that a woman police official had assaulted people who were playing Holi in Bengaluru. In the aftermath of the same, more people began coming out with stories of being harassed by police. A few more said that they had faced harassment by a woman official in SG Palya on the day of Holi, though it was not clear whether the stories were referring to the same policewoman as in Amogh's case.


this post is to talk about how the spirit of holi was compelled to blot out in my area by a bunch of imbecile and hysterical police and a scourger lady official who was in literal sense thrashing the ass out of people whose faces were stained with Holi and a few of them , here and there in small groups engaged in the same. It's so depressing and demoralizing to see how these localites used canes to intimate people, chasing them away and verbally abusing everyone with colors on. Came across a person who was tormented by some ass lickers of those in power and guess what who came to his rescue? His daughter who was pleading for his life and begged to show some mercy towards her father who was about to get slaughtered for being vocal enough for his rights. This doesn't end here, a guy's phone was snatched cuz his face was not recognizable with so much color and my friend almost got an eye injury because the lady hit him right in the eye and they chased away all the poor street vendors who were selling colors. So, my friend and I had enough of holi in a span of less than an hour. ITS NOT A HAPPY HOLI, BECAUSE IT'S DEFINITELY "NOT" HAPPY AND THAT PLAYING HOLI HERE CAN BE REALLY DICEY!! PS: CELEBRATE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

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Many of these were collated into an Instagram account started by Amogh and his classmates to further the social media movement against moral policing.  


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They also got a few more accounts from people who alleged moral policing and/or intimidation by police in other parts of Bengaluru; these too were posted on the Instagram account.

Amogh says that though the DCP has promised to take up sensitisation of police officials, they plan to keep the campaign running. "We don't want this to happen anywhere in Bengaluru. So, we will keep highlighting such incidents," he says.

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