A merry dance

The Metropolitan Police Circle at Sorakhutte have arrested 68 persons, including four women dancers and two dance bar owners, and filed cases against some of them under the Public Offences Act. They released 62 after the latter made written commitments not to repeat such acts. At times, such arrests have had to do with the failure of bar owners or girls to meet the illegitimate demands of policemen. There is no doubt that anything that spreads

obscenity and offends against public morals should be checked. Yet it is also necessary to ensure that people are not victimised for the wrong reasons. But many bar owners are reported to force their (dance) girls to perform obscene acts, including sex, to reap a huge profit.

But there seems to be room for reasonable suspicion. Why has the police administration taken action against some dance restaurants while sparing hundreds of others? Public suspicions persist because it is less the law that defines forbidden acts than the policemen on the beat. Dance restaurants and bars have been permitted by law. It is not a secret either that they employ young girls as waitresses, dancers or table companions for customers. It is time the government made clear what kinds of activities are legal or illegal within the premises of dance bars. At the same time, there needs to be a deterrent against highhandedness by overconfident or overzealous cops. But the bottom line is: Those who indulge in illegal activities should be dealt with firmly.