India: Police raid gay party and arrest 22 men

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Police in Madh Island near Mumbai have raided a bungalow and arrested 22 men who had allegedly been holding a gay party there, charging them with “indecency”.

According to the Indian Express, an event manager, three DJs and a caretaker were charged with failure to get permission to hold a party in a public place. 17 other men were charged with indulging in obscene behaviour. Around 10 others were reported to have escaped during the raid.

Inspector Phoolday Boye said: “A call was made to the control room complaining about the loud music. We were alerted after 2 am.

“When we reached the bungalow, we found that the organiser did not have permission to hire DJs and play music. The organiser had also invited six eunuchs, who were dancing indecently and the men were groping them.

“Some 10-15 others fled when we came. The rest were taken to police station and charged. All of them had drinking licences for a day.”

A police officer said: “The raid was conducted in the wee hours today [Sunday] and the accused were caught dancing indecently during the gay party.”

He claimed that initially the police had been responding to a tip-off about drugs, but none were found during the raid.

LGBT party organiser Sibi said that around 20 permissions are required to host a private party in Mumbai, including excise, a photographic performance permit, a licence for the dance floor and a licence for the DJ.

He said: “We also need to inform the police that we are having such a party. Police have been very supportive so far. We hardly faced any trouble at our parties. There was an issue a year ago when a local politician asked the police to raid our party for no valid reason. We had raised the issue and police drew flak, but since then there has been no trouble,”

In 2011, Mumbai police broke up a “gay rave” and fined 150 men for “obscene” acts.