Mumbai: Describing dance bars as the "dens of anti-social elements", Maharashtra police Tuesday expressed fears that the reopening of these places might lead to increase in crimes in the state.
Seven years after they were banned, dance bars can again run in Maharashtra with the Supreme Court today upholding a Bombay High Court verdict quashing the state government`s order.
The state police authorities and former IPS officers said the business of dance bars may now flourish and these centres might mushroom.
They opined that if the dance bars came up in good numbers, it would increase pressure on the police force, which is already reeling under severe staff crunch.
"This (restarting of dance bars) might result in revival of activities of the underworld and anti-social elements. There have been several instances in the past which suggest that the accused have held meetings in the bars to decide their targets," said a crime branch official.
Another official said that dance bars encourage night life beyond permissible time, which may prompt drunken driving incidents, late night fights on the streets or even robberies etc.
"Criminals and gang leaders routinely visit dance bars. They shower their ill-gotten money on the bar girls. They use dance bars as a recruiting ground for robbers. These are dens of anti-social elements," the officer said.
Former Maharashtra DGP P S Pasricha sought greater supervision to ensure proper operations of the dance bars.
"Rules and regulations for operations of dance bars should be very stringent. Illegal or semi-nude activities should not be allowed. No doubt, there would be an increased pressure on the police due to the restart of such bars," he added.
Former IPS officer-turned-lawyer Y P Singh described the dance bars as breeding ground for underworld, prostitution and drugs rackets.
"Due to rampant corruption in the police department, it is very difficult to ensure proper operations of the dance bars and this would result in increase in the crime," he said.