The general public of Daman was caught unawares when the police descended on them on the night of 19th November (2008). Many were returning from work or from shopping, others were just relaxing on municipal benches and public places and the yet others were in bars when jeep-loads of police accosted and indiscriminately beat up people all over Daman (Nani/Moti) and then herded them to the police station.
Those on mobikes were stopped and thrashed. It is reported that even some people who were still shopping, were beaten and the tables of those sitting outside bars, smashed to pieces. Those locked up were released around 2pm the next day.
Neither the victims nor the general public seem to know what hit them! It is alleged that when the victims tried to contact the local politicians, they discovered that they’d switched off their mobiles.
It is rumoured that the policemen were from neighbouring Silvassa. It is also rumoured that the Gujarat police were conducting a search for terrorists in Daman at the same time!
Another curious thing – only men, mostly young, were beaten up.
Since the 19th, people don’t venture out after dark. Bars – the only nightlife you see in Daman – wear a deserted look. It is rumoured that no more than four can seat at each table though there’s been no official notification of any kind… only rumours and more rumours!