In a flip-flop, police on Thursday said they will crack down on couples found meeting in isolated places in Mumbai but soon amended their decision after it evoked sharp criticism.
On January 14, police had sent a circular to all police stations directing them to take action against couples who meet at secluded places, a move which they said was aimed at preventing them from becoming victims of miscreants.
As per the ten-day-old advisory, the couples would be first asked to leave the isolated spot. In case they do not comply, action would be initiated against them under relevant sections of Bombay Police Act such as imposing penalty and detention, among the others.
Police faced criticism for the "moral circular" soon after Mumbai Police spokesperson Ambadas Pote informed the media about the January 14 advisory.
Police got into damage control exercise and quickly amended the circular, asking its personnel to step up vigil at lonely spots in the metropolis.
"The cops will not ask the couples to leave such places. Instead, patrolling will be increased at isolated spots. The wordings in the circular have now been changed," Pote said.
"The reason behind this move is that we do not want them (couples) to face the risk of becoming victim of miscreants. It is a preventive measure," he had said earlier in the day.
The move came in the wake of the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi last month.
Many couples are often found sitting at Mumbai's beach fronts and other isolated places.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Worli Sea Face, Marine Drive, Bandra Band Stand, Versova beach, Aksa beach, Dadar Chowpatty, Madh Island, Gorai, Manori beach, Girgaum Chowpatty and Juhu beach were among the spots identified by police for special vigil.