Barpeta, April 24: Two young women were harassed and physically assaulted by a gang of people on April 23 on Barpeta Road in Assam in a dramatic example of moral policing. The women were pulled from a dhaba on National Highway 31.

Sources claim that the women were pulled out of the dhaba and verbally and physically assaulted by the public for engaging in immoral behaviour there. The mob then started breaking down the dhaba’s doors and looting the establishment.

The men beat up a patron of the dhaba as well.

But thanks to some young people’s quick thinking, the two young women were somehow spared.

One of the two young women is from Pathshala; one is from Rangia.

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Later, the females were turned over to the Barpeta Road police. A broad term used to describe vigilante organisations that see themselves as defenders of culture is “moral policing.”

They do actions to uphold a purported “moral” code or modesty code. These vigilante groups are known as the moral police in India, despite going by other names in many nations, such as the chastity squad, modesty patrol, or the Islamic religious police in
some nations with a majority of Muslims.

Moral policing occurs all around the country; it is not limited to Assam. Examples of people using the law to stop what they believe to be immoral behaviour can be found there.

India has repeatedly shown to be a place where societal norms and certain religious organisations that try to dictate people’s lifestyle choices—from the food they eat to the clothes they wear to the people they marry—often override freedom, whether sexual or otherwise. People are physically assaulted or threatened with violence for merely expressing their opinions.

People are waiting to see what measures the police will take against those who have seized control of the law in the meantime.