Last August, when Kerala police had launched Pink Beat with much fanfare to ensure the safety of women in the state, little did one think it would have anything to do with moral policing.
The beats assigned had specially trained policewomen police doing the rounds of bus-stops, schools, colleges and other public places to ensure women’s safety. It also involved assisting women, children and senior citizens travelling on buses.
On Sunday however, going by a live video posted on Facebook by Jaljith Thattoli, the officials in Pink were seen questioning a couple for simply sitting together at the Kanakakkunnu Palace grounds in Thiruvananthapuram.
The video shows the Pink Beat asking the couple to leave the park. “They were sitting in full public view…not hiding….just talking. How can the Pink police then interfere in their privacy?” Jaljith is heard asking in the video.
And this is apparently not the first time that the Pink Police has chosen to do so. On Wednesday too, Janayugam (a regional newspaper) had published a photograph in which a policewoman is seen hovering over a couple seated at Chadiyath in Ernakulam.
The caption tells us that she had taken it upon herself to solemnly advise the duo of the ill-effects of love! Netizens obviously saw red.
Commenting on the Kanakakkunnu incident, Thiruvananthapuram police chief Arul RB Krishna told The News Minute that the police had received several complaints of vulgar display taking place at Kanakakkunnu and surrounding areas.
According to him, a few visitors were even seen to be taking photographs of girls without their permission, and hence patrolling was intensified in the area.
“We are not into moral policing, I have given strict instructions not to interfere, if there is no crime happening,” he reiterated.
And in the Ernakulam issue, district police chief MP Dinesh told TNM that they are yet to receive any such complaint of moral policing by the Pink Beat.
“We have not yet received any complaints. But we will look in to it, and make sure that the police help and not harass the public,” he said.