The police raided a residence in Jogeshwari's S V Road in an upmarket neighbourhood in the Andheri area of northern Mumbai early on Sunday after being tipped off about a “gay rave party”. According to media reports, the police detained 133 people on the charge of indecent behaviour. Actor Bobby Darling was one of the people detained. They were each fined Rs 1,200 (US$25). There were reportedly 350 people at the party.
The police also arrested the two party organisers for not having the requisite permission to serve liquor at the party, while the DJ playing music was arrested for not having the licence to play music beyond permissible hours.
“The team found that those at the party were behaving in an indecent manner as defined under the Bombay Police Act so they were detained and asked to pay a fine of Rs 1,200 each”, Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police (zone 9), was quoted as saying in the Hindustan Times.
The reported added that the party organisers, Sharaj Jogani and Saleem Siraj, and DJ Babar were arrested under relevant sections of the Bombay Police Act. The trio was later released on bail.
“The organisers had sent invites online and many who attended the party had paid Rs 450 per person as entry fee,” it quoted a police official as saying.
The city's celebrities have meanwhile voiced their protests.
Openly gay filmmaker Onir of My Brother... Nikhil fame says the incident was an embarrassing reality check. “It’s a joke that gay people dancing are called immodest, while heterosexual couples at parties is fine,” he told the Hindustan Times. “The cops have every right to stop a party if it exceeds the noise level, but to harass people because of their sexuality is a shame.”
Model-turned-actor Dipannita Sharma agrees, saying, “It makes sense if there is drug abuse or some illegal activities. But I don’t understand why the police targetted a party just because the revellers are gay.”
Vishwas Nangre-Patil, additional commissioner of police, west region, said he didn't know whether it was a gay party.