Bengaluru city might be known to the world for its cosmopolitan culture and individual freedom that it offers, but if you are an unmarried couple, you will find out the deep-rooted prejudice and fear-mongering that is forcing the hotels to refuse bookings. And all blame goes partly to the police and vigilante groups that carry out illegal raids on hotels to extort money from hoteliers. 

 

"There were cases of pimps booking hotels for clients. Few of the hotels were caught under illegal activity. Now there are blackmailers who make single women check in the hotel and then ask the customers to take a room next to such place," Assistant Commissioner of Police, Women and Narcotics wing, Central Crime Branch, Siddalingappa told Asianet Newsable.

 

"Earlier a hotel in Bengaluru South was raided by an organisation, but later it turned out that they carried out the raid only to extort money from the hotel owners. Incidents like this have made few hotel owners to give up business, and few have now decided to take only married couples especially in and around Majestic area,"  said Siddalingappa.

 

Echoing similar sentiments, Praveen Shetty,  Kannada Rakshana Vedike, a pro-Kannada organisation says, in the name of the organisation many blackmailers are mushrooming. These hotels which do illegal business also are scanned by such groups, and they raid in groups and demand money to settle the case. 

 

The same attitude was developed by such organisation to trap and blackmail even good hotels. But the hotels if are doing a genuine business need not worry and they can always approach the police. 

 

"The constitution guarantees a freedom to a person to roam freely with anyone who he/she chooses to go with. The hotels may also come across good friends and other members and suspecting them for 'prostitution' is wrong. The hotels cannot just ask genuine couples and others not to approach," he said.

 

Sridhar owner of Abhimani Comforts in Jayanagar agreed to such tricks of blackmailing as he was one of the victims. “The lodge business is very risky as many elements come asking for money, if we fail to give, they threaten us. Hence, we avoid taking unmarried couples.”

 

Surya, an admin executive from Amshi International Hotel says the hotel has stopped taking unmarried couples from last few months. “We do not know the reason, but the instruction has come from our management to put these new rules.”